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GKCA Update 1st to 31st Jan

Starred Articles
01 No Cliffhanger for the US economy Jan Corporate > USA
The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which includes a rare increase in taxes on the wealthiest households in US, was approved by the US Congress. The tax rates would rise to 39.6 per cent from 35 per cent for individual incomes more than $400,000 and couples more than $450,000, while tax deductions and credits would start to be phased out on incomes as low as $250,000. This bipartisan budget deal will prevent the world's largest economy from falling into another fiscal crisis. Background: A package of significant tax cuts, first enacted under President George W. Bush expired in December 2012. As the marginal tax rate was reduced from 39.6 per cent to 35 per cent by these cuts, after these cuts expired tax rates would have increased in January 2013. The Budget Control Act of 2011, effective from January 2013, would automatically cut or sequester the government spending if it would exceed the budget resolution. This increase in taxes coupled with spending cuts in the budget would have resulted in reduction in the US Budget deficit and would have pulled the nation dependent on financial stimulus into another official recession. So the US Congress debated about the measures to make the deficit larger by reducing taxes or increasing spending. By signing the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, the US has successfully avoided the conundrum. Although the bill is passed on 1st January 2013, the passing of this bill is backdated to help the US to technically avoid going over a "fiscal cliff.

04 Kingfisher Airlines loses license to fly Jan India > Aviation

The troubled Kingfisher Airlines has lost its permit to fly after a deadline to renew its suspendd license expired. Directorate General of Civil Aviation Arun Mishra said Kingfisher Airlines has failed to provide additional details on the funding of operations in reference to Kingfishers reinstatement plans submitted to the DGCA last month. Recently, the troubled airline said it was in talks with Etihad Airways and other investors to take a stake in it. The Vijay Mallya owned Kingfisher airlines has made losses for 5 years in a row and it is $1.4bn in debt and has been unable to pay staff, airports, tax authorities and its lenders. Meanwhile, 17 member consortium met in Bangalore to discuss the companys turnaround plans amidst demands by the staff to sell assets and pay them their dues.

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GKCA Update 1st to 31st Jan

06 Pre-Trial Proceedings to start for the Delhi Gang - Rape case Jan India > Crime

A Delhi court today acted on the chargesheet filed by the Delhi Police on the Gang Rape case. Five of the accused have been booked for murder, attempt to murder, gang rape, unnatural offences, causing hurt in committing robbery, dacoity, dacoity with murder, destruction of evidence, common intention and dishonestly receiving stolen property. Two of the accused, Pawan Gupta and Vinay Sharma expressed their wish to become prosecution witnesses but the police said that they had doubts on the reliability of the accused. The sixth accused, who is a juvenile, will be tried before a Juvenile Justice Board. He will attain majority in 5 months. With older Juveniles getting away, there is a demand that the Juvenile Justice Act needs to be amended. As an answer to the demands from various quarters, the UPA government has decided to implement all the recommendations of the Justice Malimath Committee and tighten laws on sexual assault in an attempt to make the criminal justice system more efficient.

08 Hate Speech accused Akbaruddin Owaisi arrested Jan India > Andhra Pradesh

The Andhra Pradesh Police have arrested hate speech accused Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi. The police have registered four cases against Owaisi, the MLA of Chandrayangutta constituency in Hyderabad, on charges of promoting enmity between different groups and waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the government of India. Owaisi had allegedly delivered an inflammatory speech on Dec 22 last year in Nirmal Town of Adilabad district against a particular religious community. He had been remanded to a 14-day judicial custody by a magistrate court in Nirmal Town. Owaisi had previously been accused on many occasions of delivering communal speeches against the Hindu community.

08 Arjun Munda recommends dissolution of Jharkhand State Assembly Jan India > Jharkhand

Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda has recommended the dissolution of the state assembly to Jharkhand Governor Syed Ahmed. The Shibu Soren led Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) met the governor and officially withdrew support to the Bharatiya Janata Party. The Munda government has technically become a minority after the JMM withdrew support. With JMM withdrawing support, the BJP-led NDA government has the support of only 26 MLAs in the 81 member assembly. Background: The political crisis started when JMM chief Shibu Soren wrote to the Chief Minister Arjun Munda on 25th December asking him to hand over the Chief Ministers post to JMM as part of a 28 month power sharing deal. However, Munda denied in writing that any such deal had happened at the time of forming the government and refused to step down stating that the government has to take a decision keeping the stability of the state in mind. The BJP had firmly stated its support to Munda and dismissed any such claims of a power sharing deal.

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GKCA Update 1st to 31st Jan

08 Messi wins Player of the Year Award for the 4th consecutive time Jan Sports > Soccer

Argentine football great Lionel Messi won the FIFA Balon dor the FIFA Men Player of the year Award for the 4th consecutive time. This came as an expected achievement for the 25 year old, who had an astounding year with 91 goals for Argentina and Barcelona in 2012. Messi beat Christiano Ronaldo of Spanish champion Real Madrid and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta to win the trophy. Messis fourth award broke former records of soccer legends Brazils Ronaldo and Frances Zinedine Zidane who had each won the FIFA Player of the Year award thrice.

09 Train fares to go up from January 21st midnight Jan India > Railways

Railways Minister Mr. Pawan Kumar Bansal announced today that train fares will go up from January 21st, Midnight. The increase ranges from 2 paise per kilometre for second class ordinary (suburban) trains to 10 paise per km for AC 1st class trains. Usually the hike in train fare is announced during the Railway Budget. However the Railway Minister said that this was the need of the hour as fares have not been increased for a decade and the railways had incurred a loss to the tune of 20000 crores in 2010-11. The fare hike is expected to contribute 6000 crores to the railways.

09 Pakistani Troops behead and mutilate two Indian soldiers Jan India > LOC

In a major disruption of the ceasefire agreement that has been in force since 2003, Pakistani troops entered Indian territory, and beheaded an Indian soldier and mutilated his counterpart before killing him. India has termed the incident ghastly, inhuman and unacceptable and asked the Pakistani government to immediately investigate the matter. Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai summoned Pakistan High Commissioner Salman Bashir and made it clear that such events were unacceptable and Pakistan must uphold the sanctity of the Line of Control. The attacks are seen as a clear attempt to disrupt diplomatic relations between the two countries and an already slow moving peace process since the 2008 attacks in Mumbai.

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GKCA Update 1st to 31st Jan

10 Pakistan and India violate LOC norms Jan Politics and Government > Indo-Pak Relations

In what is said to be the largest blow to Indo-Pak relations since the 2003 ceasefire, the last week has seen as many as five soldiers losing their lives in cross-border firing. It all started with the Indian Army accusing Pakistani troops for violating the ceasefire between the two countries and mutilating the bodies of two jawans on December 8th 2012. One of the jawans, Lance Naik Hemraj was beheaded. In reply to this, Pakistan accused India of killing one of its soldiers in a cross-border attack. The Indian army has released a statement saying that it did open fire on Pakistani troops but it had not crossed the border. The Pakistan government had summoned Indian High Commissioner Sharat Sabharwal about the Indian attacks on Pakistani troops, calling them unacceptable and unprovoked. On 11th January 2012, Pakistani troops fired across the LoC at five posts in the Krishna Ghati and Sona Gali sectors of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian army said that this was a Pakistani attack whereas the Pakistani army says that it was a counter-attack. Firing was also seen in Nangitikri and Krishnagati areas in Poonch district of J&K. On 14th January 2013, both countries held a flag meeting at Chakan da Bagh in Poonch district along the Line of Control (LoC) in Kashmir. The meeting which lasted thirty-five minutes, was the first on-ground contact between the two armies since last weeks tension. Pakistan agreed to the meeting after much persistence from India for the last four days. Meanwhile, Indian martyr Lance Naik Hemrajs family went on a six day hunger strike which ended on 14th January 2013 after being assured by political forces that justice will prevail. In response to the entire episode, Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid has said that India will continue to make efforts to get to the bottom of the matter and that truth was a necessary ingredient of any reconciliation.

11 Apple penetrates into Chinese markets Jan Corporate > Apple

Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Tim Cook, has visited China twice in one year and has said that the Asian giant will soon be taking over the United States of America as the largest market for Apple products in the world. Currently China is the second-largest market for Apple products and the technology biggie sold more than two million iPhone 5 handsets in just three days of it being launched in China, on 14th December 2012. Cook has shown excitement in launching new products in China and has plans to launch a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets in Asia.

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GKCA Update 1st to 31st Jan

11 Barack Obama, Hamid Karzai meet at White House Jan Politics and Government > U.S. - Afghanistan

Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai arrived in the U.S. on 11th of January 2013. His day began in the White House with President Barack Obama discussing post-war relations between the two countries. The U.S. has certain commitments towards Afghanistan which it will look to fulfill. The discussion also covered the number and nature of NATO troops to remain in Afghanistan. The two hour meeting was followed by lunch and then a short press conference. President Barack Obama also discussed with President Karzai a schedule to bring all 68,000 American troops back to their homeland and the future needs of Afghanistan to meet its own security needs. In the press conference Obama stated plans of an anti-terror operation to get to the root of the Taliban and eliminate Al-Qaeda. Obama discussed troops of 3,000, 6,000 and 9,000 for various post-war operations. The White House suggested that Obama was looking to fast-track operations so that zero Americans remain in Afghanistan.

15 Inflation slows to 3-year low, RBI may cut rates Jan Economy > Inflation

According to Indias Commerce and Industry Ministry, the countrys overall inflation has fallen to a three-year low, based on monthly wholesale price index. Currently, the countrys inflation stands at 7.18% as of December 2012. This may lead to a drop in interest rates to support faltering growth. The Ministry also said that good news was in store as inflation has been showing signs of moderation, especially in the manufacturing sector. This comes as a relief from the more-or-less stubborn inflation rates in the past months. The government has also revised the October inflation number from 7.455 to 7.32%. On the downside, retail inflation went back to double digits, according to the nationwide consumer price index. Meanwhile, the RBI has tightened monetary policy to keep a check on sticky inflation but the rates will be eased when it reviews its policy on January 29.

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GKCA Update 1st to 31st Jan

15 2 year high for Sensex Jan Economy > Macro economy

The decision of the Finance Ministry to fasten the economic reforms process by modifying the General AntiAvoidance Rules (GAAR) has had a positive effect on the Stock Market. The SENSEX and NIFTY, both rose to a 2 year high. Investors gained up to Rs 80,000 crore and were also pleased with relaxed inflation figures, which dropped to a three-year low, that in turn raised chances of a cut in rates by RBI later this month. Market experts and investors say that the tough decision to change the provisions of GAAR will also boost foreign investment in India. Gautam Trivedi, MD & head of equities-India, Religare Capital Markets said that the foreign investors are happy with the way the government of India is responding to their concerns. The banking and finance sector saw company stocks soar, with HDFC up 1.9% at Rs 825 and ICICI Bank closing 1.7% higher at Rs 1,185. IT stocks also soared as the sectors stalwarts like Infosys and TCS performed very well in the first quarter making high profit margins to gain bigger contracts. The Infosys stock gained 3.5% to add to its 17% gain on 11th January 2013 and close at Rs 2,807, while TCS was up 2.1% at Rs 1,334. The IT index on BSE was up 2.6%. Infosys chief executive, S.D. Shibulal had something positive to say since June 2012, TCS said that it will surpass Nasscoms revenue forecast of 11 to 14 percent growth for the year end of 31st March.

15 Urjit Patel takes charge as RBI deputy governor Jan Economy > RBI

The Reserve Bank of India has a new deputy governor in the form of Urjit Patel. Patel will be heading the department of monetary policy which was earlier headed by Subir Gokarn. Mr. Patel has been appointed as deputy governor for a period of three years, effective from 11th January 2013. He will be joining the other three deputy governors namely K C Chakrabarty, Anand Sinha and Harun R. Khan. Urjit Patel has a Ph.D. in economics from Yale University and an M. Phil from Oxford.Prior to his appointment as the deputy governor of the Reserve Bank, Patel was adviser (energy & infrastructure), Boston Consulting Group.

16 Pakistan SC orders arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf Jan Politics and Government > Pakistan

The Pakistan Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the arrest of Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf on grounds of receiving bribes in Rental Power Projects (RPPs) as Federal Minister of Water and Power. This is the second case of a Prime Minister losing office in less than a year after the exit of Yusuf Raza Gilani in June 2012. The Pakistan Supreme Court had, in March 2012, declared all RPP contracts as illegal and ordered authorities to take steps against those involved in clearing the contracts including Pervez Ashraf. Meanwhile, accompanied by thousands of supporters, Pakistani-Canadian Sufi cleric Tahir-ul Qadri launched his Million-Man Long March from Lahore to Islamabad on Sunday. He said the march would mark the protest of the Pakistani people against corruption and the oppression of the poor by those in power. Early on Tuesday, Qadri had demanded the dissolution of the National and State Assemblies. The Supreme Courts recent order is seen by many as an immediate reaction to Qadris demands. Soon after the Supreme Court issued the order, Qadriss supporters cheered and welcomed the decision. Page 6 of 19

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17 Tahawwur Rana, convicted of aiding terrorist outfit LET, sentenced to 14 Jan years in prison
World > Crime
Tahawwur Rana, a 52 year old Pakistani-Canadian and accomplice of convicted terrorist David Headley was sentenced to 14 years of prison by a US Court for providing material support to the 2008 Mumbai attack group LET and helping plan an aborted plot to behead staff at a Danish newspaper. He was, however, cleared of the more serious charge of helping plot the Mumbai attacks which resulted in the loss of 160 lives. Convicted terrorist David Headley was the governments star witness in the trial. Pakistani-American David Headley had earlier pleaded guilty of laying the groundwork for the Mumbai attacks and help plan the attack on the Danish newspaper. During the trial, prosecutors had argued that Rana had allowed Headley to open offices of his Chicago based immigration services in Mumbai which Headley used as a cover to survey sites and gain access to newspaper offices for the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attacks.

17 DLF to sell wind energy business for 900 crore Jan Corporate > DLF

Indias biggest real estate company DLF will sell its wind energy business to an unlisted firm, Bharat Light and Power (BLP), owned and founded in 2010 by former General Electric President and CEO for India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, Tejpreet Singh Chopra. DLF plans to first sell windmills that can generate up to 200 megawatts of power. Assets that can generate another 28 MW of power will be sold later. The latest sale follows a string of disposals done by the real estate giant in recent months to reduce its debt pile acquired in the past decade to acquire large tracts of land, build hotels and develop real estates across the country. Last month, DLF announced a deal to sell its stake in luxury hotel group Aman Resorts. Last year, it sold another hotel firm in Kolkata and also a large land parcel in Mumbai. Background: DLF, founded by billionaire Kushal Pal Singh, has a land bank of 10,255 acres, the biggest in the real estate sector. At its peak, its debt pile stood at Rs 23,000 crore. It hopes to end March 2013 with an overall debt level of 18,000 crore.

22 Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clears IKEAs investment Jan proposal
Corporate > IKEA
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has approved Swedish Home Furnishings Company IKEAs Rs. 10,500 crore investment proposal which the Board had earlier rejected in November 2012. This approval allows the company to set up retail stores along with its popular cafes in stores and also increase its product categories in India from 15 to 18. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs will take the final call on the endorsement as the FIPB can endorse investments upto Rs. 1,200 crore only.

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22 Government hikes import duty on Gold Jan Economy > Gold

Import duty on gold and platinum will now be 6% against 4% earlier. The government has also directed gold exchange traded funds to park a part of their gold holdings with banks. It has also eased the terms of gold deposit schemes of banks to encourage individuals to deposit some of their idle gold to partially meet the demand through domestic sources. This move comes after Indias Current Account Deficit (CAD) widened to a record 5.4% of gross domestic product in the first half of the current fiscal as gold and crude oil imports remained high.

22 Former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala and son sentenced to 10 years in Jan Jail Politics and Government > Teacher Recruitment Scam
Former five-time Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala were sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by a special CBI Court for illegal recruitment of junior basic trained (JBT) teachers. On January 16, the court had held Chautala, his son and 53 others guilty of illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained teachers in Haryana in 2000. In protest against the judgement, over 600 supporters of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Chautala clashed violently with the police outside the court.

22 Rahul Gandhi appointed Congress Vice-President, Rajnath Singh to replace Gadkari as BJP chief Jan Politics and Government >Political Party
The Congress on 20 January appointed Rahul Gandhi as the vice-president of the Congress party, a position that elevated him to the number two position in the party after mother Sonia Gandhi. The decision was taken at the recently concluded two-day Chintan Shivir intended to create an agenda for 2014. In another development, BJP party President Nitin Gadkari resigned after protests following Income Tax raids on businesses that had invested in Purti group founded by him. Former BJP chief and UP leader Rajnath Singh has been appointed as the new party president.

24 Developing nations on top in 2012 FDI index Jan Economy > FDI

According to the United Nations Trade and Investment Think Tank (UNCTAD), developing nations have, for the first time, attracted more foreign direct investment than the industrialized nations, where FDI flows have dipped 18 percent in the last year. Weak investments in the crisis-hit developed economies of the United States, European Nations and Japan have been largely responsible for the USD 300 billion-decline in global FDI last year. However, developing countries have also registered a dip in FDI inflows. Asia, which raked in 59 per cent of all FDI to developing countries, saw its inflow drop 9.5 per cent, with China, the world's second-largest recipient of such investments, registering a 3.4-per cent drop in 2012 FDI inflows dropped despite the fact that the world economy grew 2.3 percent in 2012.

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28 Toyota regains position as worlds biggest car maker Jan Corporate > Toyota

Japanese carmaker Toyota has regained its position as the worlds biggest car maker after the company posted 22% increase in sales from 2011. Toyota sold 9.75 million vehicles in 2012, more than General Motors sales of 9.29 million vehicles. In 2011, General Motors held the top spot. Toyotas sales in 2011 had been hit by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand which had slowed down production at its factories. Toyotas rivals such as Nissan Motor and Honda Motor have also reported record number for vehicle sales in 2012. The decline in the Yen against the dollar since last November, might have aided Toyota which relies heavily on overseas sales.

29 RBI cuts REPO rates by 25 basis points, reduces the Cash Reserve Ratio Jan Economy > Macro economy

The Reserve Bank of India cut the short-time lending rate, also called REPO by 0.25 percent to 7.75 percent for the first time in the past nine months to support the slow economic growth. In another unexpected move, the RBI has reduced the CRR, the share of deposit banks must keep with the RBI, by 25 bps to 4 percent which will release 18,000 crore additional liquidity into the system. The cut in REPO rates is expected to reduce the cost of borrowing for individuals and the CRR reduction would improve the availability of funds.

30 Philips to sell home entertainment business Jan Corporate > Philips

Amsterdam based Philips Electronics has decided to quit its traditional business of home entertainment by selling its audio and video businesses to Japan based Funai Electronics Company for 150 million Euros, a move intended to focus more on its profitable home appliances and healthcare businesses. Philips had already hived off its television business last year by setting up a joint venture with Hong Kong-based TPV, after facing steepcompetition from low-cost Asian manufacturers including Samsung and LG. With most people turning to online download of movies, games and music, Philips decided to get out of home entertainment even though it was profitable last year. In future, the consumer division will focus on appliances such as shavers and electric toothbrushes as well as toasters, juicers and coffee makers.

30 Etihad Airways to buy 24% stake in Jet Jan Corporate > Aviation

Abu Dhabi based airline Etihad will pick up 24% stake in Naresh Goyal owned Jet Airways for about $330 million. The 24% stake is to be valued at Rs. 7,652 crore, a substantial premium to Jets market capitalization of almost Rs. 5,100 crore. FDI in the aviation sector has paved the way for Indian carriers to get both funds and expertise from foreign airlines. Senior officials from Etihad will be meeting the Commerce and Aviation ministers to apprise them of the decision. Background: Naresh Goyal, a non-resident Indian, owns 80% stake in Jet, with 79.9% through his Isle of Man-based company Tailwinds. Previously, Goyal had to buy back 40% stake in Jet Airways which was held equally by Gulf Air and Kuwait Airlines when FDI by foreign airlines was disallowed in 1996.

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26 Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan awards announced Jan Padma Awards
The government came out with a list of 108 Padma awardees that included actors, sportspersons and other distinguished personalities from the field of art, science and literature. Noted physicist Yash Pal, space scientist Roddam Narasimha, renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra and painter S. Haider Raza were chosen for this years Padma Vibhushan, Indias second highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna. 24 people were chosen for the Padma Bhushan which included names like Rahul Dravid, Rajesh Khanna and Sridevi. Among the 80 Padma Shri awardees are B. Jayashree (art) from Karnataka, film Director of Sholay fame Ramesh Sippy, noted Photo journalist Pablo Bartholomew, and fashion designer Ritu Kumar. Olympians Mary Kom, Yogeshwar Dutt and Vijay Kumar also featured among the Padma awardees. Nobody was named for the Bharat Ratna for this year too. The last awardee was the late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in 2008.

Bank Specific
24 ING exits Life Insurance in India, sells entire stake Jan ING
ING has sold its entire 26% stake in ING Vysya Life Insurance to its joint venture partner Exide Industries Ltd. in a deal that valued the company at 1,100 crore. Although ING held only the maximum permissible stake of 26%, it had controlled the life insurance operations for over a decade whereas the Indian shareholding changed several hands. ING said it was exiting India as part of its plans to divest its insurance and investment management business in Asia. However the company clarified that this decision does not impact ING Vysya Bank in which ING has a 44% stake nor its fund-management businesses in the country. Exide is now looking for a foreign insurer who will buy the 26% stake. ING is the fourth insurer to exit India after the opening up of the insurance sector. Background: The ING Group is a Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Amsterdam. Its primary businesses are retail banking, direct banking, commercial banking, investment banking, asset management, and insurance services. Automotive battery manufacturer Exide is a Rajan Raheja group company and has a market capitalization of over Rs 10,000 crore. The company got into the life insurance business by buying out GMR group.

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24 Banks step up hiring at IIMs, offer 1-crore plus salaries Jan Jobs

Banks seem to be the top hirers at IIMs this placement season and have offered at least three 1-crore salary packages so far. Deutsche Bank has given two such offers at IIM-Ahmedabad for its London office and Morgan Stanley has offered a 1-crore package to a student at IIM-Calcutta for a stint abroad. Most global and Indian banks are hiring more than last year and are offering pay packages which are 10-15% higher. Leading banks such as Standard Chartered, HSBC, HDFC and Axis Bank are offering salaries in the range of 15-18 lakhs. The top five consulting firms, including BCG and McKinsey, are also likely to hire more than 200 people this year. However, e-commerce companies, which had been the largest recruiters in campuses last year, are hiring less this year.

03 Mid-Sized Technology Outsourcing Companies to cut down on pay hikes and campus hiring in 2013 Jan IT Outsourcing
Slowdown in the US and European markets has forced mid-sized technology outsourcing companies to decide on lower pay hikes and cut down on campus hiring this year. Since the financial crisis of 2008, the $100 billion Indian IT industry has been facing slower growth and lower revenues. Software services exporters such as Infinite Computer Solutions, Mastek, Mahindra Satyam and Infotech Enterprises said the pay hikes could be as low as 5% this year. Also, IT hiring figures of close to 1.5 lakh students every year, might go down drastically. In a similar development, Indias 2nd largest software company, Infosys has started to lay off underperforming employees in an attempt to reduce operational costs and focus on a more aggressive sales strategy. Infosys is asking about 5000 of the 1.5 lakh workforce to leave straightaway.

04 US Federal Trade Commission dismisses allegations of unfair practices by Google Jan Google
In an investigation spanning 19 months, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) declared that they didnt find enough evidence to suggest that Google unfairly favors its own services in search results. The judgement came as a blow to Microsoft Corp. and other Google rivals who had complained against the search majors business practices. However, Google will sign an agreement requiring the company to charge "reasonable" prices to license hundreds of patents for rival mobile devices such as Apple Inc.s iPhone, Research in Motion Ltd.s BlackBerry and smartphones running on a Microsoft Corp's Windows software. Upon request, Google will also exclude snippets from other websites in its summaries of key information. Background: Google gained ownership of the patents when it acquired Motorola Mobility Holdings at $ 12.4 billion in 2012.

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07 Bank of America to pay billions as mortgage loans to Fannie Mae Jan US Mortgage Loans

Bank of America will pay US Mortgage Agency Fannie Mae $ 10.3 bn as a settlement of claims related to residential home loans and $1.3 bn as compensation. Fannie Mae had held bank of America responsible for the losses as it complained that the Bank had sold all its toxic debts. In a related development, 10 big mortgage providers which include Bank of America, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Wells Fargo, will provide $8.5 bn as compensation to individual owners for mistakes in repossessing homes. In October, 2012, the US Government had sued Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo for alleged mortgage fraud. Background: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are two US government Mortgage agencies. Both these agencies buy mortgages from banks providing them with more funds to lend out. The US Mortgage market collapsed in 2008 after the housing bubble burst. Both Fannie and Freddie suffered $30 bn because of their investments in the subprime mortgages. They were later bailed out by the US government.

14 Tata Motors aims to become No. 2 carmaker Motors Jan Tata Four month old managing director of Tata Motors, Karl Slym, is a man on a mission. He has initiated a major
restructuring program which looks to make Tata Motors, which is Indias largest automaker by revenue, the worlds second-largest car maker, by 2020. One of these restructuring elements including a common vision statement for the two types of cars commercial cars and passenger cars. The vision will be called One Team One Vision. Also, the company has appointed the man behind the Tata Nano and Tata Ace concept, Mr, Girish Wagh to head the product planning team. Tata Motors further plans to improve the co-ordination between its four engineering centers viz. India, UK, Italy and South Korea and also improve backend services like designing, engineering and sourcing. It also aims at repositioning its micro car and creating a number of two -seater in the vehicle industry.

16 Bharti Airtel India CEO, Sanjay Kapoor steps down, Gopal Vittal takes his Jan position
Bharti Airtel
Sanjay Kapoor, CEO of India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel, has decided to step down from his position after a stint of 15 years. Bharti started an organizational restructuring after Kapoor's exit, placing Gopal Vittal as the new CEO (India). Gopal Vittal had rejoined the company in April 2012 as group director (special projects). Kapoor will continue to be associated with the company as a director on board of Indus Towers and Bharti Global and will be available for a smooth transitional process until March 31st, 2013.

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18 Reebok India plans revival as Adidas appoints new MD Jan Adidas

Reebok India is looking at plans to revive operations throughout the country. The German sportswear major suffered a severe setback last year in a 870-crore scam that made headlines. Erick Haskell has been named the India MD of Adidas AG which owns Reebok. Haskell, who was COO of Adidas China before being transferred to India, said that his immediate priority is to put forth a growth plan for Reebok India and to introduce an aggressive marketing campaign in the coming months. Haskell also said that Reebok is contemplating opening its own retail outlets in India as India currently allows 100% foreign investment in single brand retailing. The fraud, last year, had prompted Adidas to announce closure of two-thirds of Reebok stores and overhaul its entire Indian business model. Haskell further said that no more stores will be closed and its previous 800-odd franchisees have agreed to switch to a new model of business.

29 Manchester United becomes first football team to be valued at over $ 3 billion Jan Manchester United
English Premier League soccer club Manchester United became the worlds first professional sports team to be valued at over $3 billion, according to a Forbes magazine report. Manchester United is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. New sponsorship deals and lucrative payouts in the Champions League and the English Premier League seem to have contributed to the surge in Uniteds shares. 19 times EPL champion Manchester is ahead of the world's second-most valuable sports team, the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys which is valued at $2.1 billion. United, who claim to have 659 million followers worldwide, are owned by the American Glazer family who retained a tight grip on the club after the shares of the club were floated on the NYSE last year.

29 Samsung Buys US medical imaging firm NeuroLogica Jan Samsung

Samsung Electronics has brought a full stake in a Massachusetts-based medical imaging firm NeuroLogica as it wants to expand in the medical sector. NeuroLogica makes medical devices including CT scanners. Samsung plans to leverage its global brand name in consumer electronics, IT and communications to grow in the medical imaging business. Background: Samsung Electronics, the world's top maker of smartphones, memory chips and flat-screen TVs, is the flagship unit of the Samsung group. Samsung, in 2010, declared that it would spend $20 billion over the following 10 years on five "new growth" areas including light-emitting diode technology, medical devices, biotech drugs, electric-vehicle batteries and solar panels.

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31 Research in Motion changes name to Blackberry, launches new mobile computing platform Jan Blackberry
Research in Motion, the makers of Blackberry smartphones have changed their corporate name to Blackberry in a move to leverage on the global brand name of its Blackberry mobile devices and revive its smartphone business. The move also coincides with the launch of a new mobile computing platform BB 10 and the launch of two revamped smartphones, one in the touch format known as BlackBerry Z 10 and another in the physical keyboard format known as Blackberry Q 10. Blackberry has been facing tough competition in recent times from Apple Inc.s IPhone and Samsungs Galaxy devices in the smartphone market. The name change is seen as a crucial marketing move for the company that has undergone a management change and a major restructuring in recent times.

04 Following on US footsteps, India contemplates higher taxes for the superrich Jan Tax
Prominent economists around the country urged the government to bring inflation down to 4-5% at the earliest. Key economic advisor to the Prime Minister Mr. C Rangarajan had suggested that the government should impose a marginal tax rate higher than the current 30% on individuals with substantially higher income. His suggestion came a day after the US Congress approved a rare tax increase on the nations wealthiest, the first time in two decades. Also, there were suggestions for higher investment in health and education sector, higher capital expenditure on agriculture and also for expanding the Tax base so that that the governments revenue could increase significantly.

04 Gold Imports not responsible for growing Current Account Deficit Jan Gold

The widely perceived notion that rising Gold imports were responsible for the worsening of the Current Account Deficit had much less to do in reality with the actual issue. The CAD worsened to a record $22.4 billion or 5.4% of the GDP in July-September last year. The overall merchandise trade deficit attributable to the growing difference between Oil imports and exports caused the CAD to widen to such alarming figures. However, the government increased customs duty twice to curb the import of Gold. Since the increase, gold imports have come down significantly as compared to last year but the CAD has not decreased much. To address the issue, ideally the government should increase exports significantly and cut down on unnecessary imports of some finished goods.

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12 Nobel laureate warns India about FDI leading to instability Jan FDI

Nobel laureate and American economist, Joseph Stiglitz said that the current craze for FDI in India is not going to be productive. He has said that FDI in multi-brand retail would lead to instability as MNCs adopt corrupt and exploitative ways to gain monopoly in competitive markets. Mr. Stiglitz gave an example of Wal-Mart in Mexico where the retail giant was offering bribes to officials at various levels to gain monopoly. He said that the same will happen in India and the labor force will be the worst affected. He also denounced the myth of benefits of FDI in the agricultural sector farmers, producers and consumers.

18 Chinese economy grows 7.8% in Q4 Jan China

The Chinese Economy grew 7.8% in Q4, up from 7.4% in Q3. This is the slowest growth in 13 years. It is down from 9.3 per cent in 2011 and 10.4 per cent in 2010. In 2012, the gross domestic product reached 51.93 trillion yuan (USD 8.28 trillion). Amid apprehensions whether the GDP would miss the official target, it picked up in the last three months of the year mainly driven by Christmas and New Year sales. Analysts said that government stimulus measures introduced since early 2012 have helped to avert further slowdown.

18 Oil Companies Shares gain as Sensex crosses 20,000 mark Jan Sensex

The governments bold economic reforms measure of hiking diesel price seemed to bear fruits as the shares of major oil companies such as RIL and ONGC gained and the Sensex crossed the 20,000 mark. The government had, on 17th January, partially deregulated diesel price allowing a hike of 40-50 paise a litre per month for retail customers and nearly Rs 11 for bulk consumers. The BSE benchmark Sensex on Friday rose 123.75 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 20,087 with stocks of oil and gas, auto, PSUs, metal and banking sectors extending support. Shares of ONGC were trading at Rs 348.10 apiece, up 10.68 per cent in the early morning trade, RIL rose 897.30, up 7.65 per cent.

21 Indian IT Companies eye software outsourcing deals coming up for renewal worth $50 billion in 2013 Jan Information Technology
Software Outsourcing Deals worth $ 50 billion (2.7 lakh crore), worth almost half the size of the Indian IT Industry, are coming up for renewal in 2013. There is expected to be fierce competition among companies in the form of aggressive discounting. HCL Technologies, which recently won a contract from Deutsche Bank worth several millions dollars, could get it only because of aggressive discounting. Some of the long-term contracts coming up for renewal in 2013 are from Procter & Gamble, Bank of America, American Express and Unilever, first signed during 2002-03. The top four Indian IT companies Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies have posted better growth figures. However, it doesnt mean that the period of slow growth is entirely coming to an end. Indias software exports are expected to barely grow by double digits as companies cope with fundamental technological and business model transformations. Page 15 of 19

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12 Erratic weather worldwide Patterns Jan Weather 2012 saw floods, droughts, deluges, storms and hurricanes in different parts of the world. People everywhere
have become desensitized to these natural calamities and have accepted these erratic weather patterns as the new normal. While China is experiencing the coldest winter in thirty years, Brazil is going through a heat spell. Parts of Russia are freezing with -50 degrees Celsius. Australia has seen bush fires in the previous year and Pakistan has seen devastating floods. The Middle East and the United States of America are also experiencing record breaking heat. The U.K. saw floods on three different occasions in 2012. These are just a few examples of the unpredictable weather conditions that we are facing. Forecasters and experts say that such uncertainty in climate may be seen throughout 2013 as well.

14 Worlds largest religious gathering, Kumbh Mela, begins Mela Jan Kumbh The Maha Kumbh Mela, which is the worlds largest religious gathering, started off on 14th January 2013 in
Allahabad. Devotees flocked in large numbers to take a holy dip in the Ganges. The festival will last for fifty-five days and is expected to have over one crore devotees participating in it. The next festival will take place at Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh in the year 2016.

31 Government to toughen anti-rape laws, provide for life imprisonment Jan Legal Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the government would act on the recommendations of the Justice J
S Verma Committee and toughen laws dealing with crimes against women by providing for life imprisonment for rape-murder and addition of new offences such as disrobing of women, voyeurism, stalking and trafficking. The government also agreed to the committees recommendations to reject death penalty and chemical castration as punishment for rapists. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court agreed to look into the demand for tighter laws for juveniles based on the nature of the crime committed by them.

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03 Legendary Violinist M S Gopalkrishnan passes away Jan Arts Violin maestro Padmabhushan M.S. Gopalkrishnan passed away after a brief illness. He was 82. MSG, as he is
fondly referred to in the business circles, started performing at the age of 8. He has since then went on to perform with stalwarts before becoming an expert himself on Hindustani and Carnatic systems of classical music. His amazing quality of interpreting an artists musical expressions and complementing it with his unique sensitivity earned him the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Shri and the Sangita Kalanidhi title conferred by the Music Academy, Chennai. He is survived by his wife, two daughters and a son.

10 Top ten with 100 percentiles at CAT 2012 2012 Jan CAT Engineers emerged as toppers yet again of the Common Admission Test 2012, with nine engineers and two
Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay graduates in top ten students who scored 100 percentile. The results for the 1.9 lakh candidates who took the test were declared on 9th January, and it revealed that Mumbai fared better than other metros. Out of nearly 17,000 Mumbai candidates in 2012, 180 scored more than 99 percentile ahead of Delhi's 168 out of 21,224 candidates and Bangalore's 157 out of 19,553 candidates. About 19 candidates have scored in the 99.99 percentile this year and around 1,895 candidates scored in between 99 and 100 percentiles.

Politics & Government

22 Barack Obama begins 2nd term as US President, pledges to end war Jan U.S.

Barack Obama began his 2nd term at the White House after his re-election and swearing in as US President for 4 more years. In his inaugural address, Obama pledged to focus more on internal social, political and economic dynamics and involve in less confrontation with the world. He was sworn in for a second term by Chief Justice John Roberts in a grand ceremony watched by more than 600,000 people.

31 Anna renames India Against Corruption as Jantantra Morcha Jan Anna Hazare

Anna Hazare declared that India Against Corruption (IAC) would henceforth be called as Jantantra Morcha. Hazare stressed on the importance of civil society participation in the legislation process and said that the Morcha will mobilize people on a host of issues with a demand for effective legislation to strengthen the democratic process.

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Science and Technology

04 30th Birthday of the Internet Jan Internet
One of the greatest inventions of our times, the internet, turned 30 on the 4th of January. On the 1st of January, 1983, the US Department of Defence commissioned Arpanet Networks, replaced all previous networking systems and fully switched to the use of the Internet Protocol Suite (IPS) communications system. The new system was designed to overcome the failures associated with the previous programme. The internet, has since then, gone on to change the way millions work across the globe.

26 India successfully test fires medium range underwater ballistic missile Jan Nuclear Missile

India today successfully test fired a medium range nuclear capable K-5 ballistic missile from an underwater platform in Bay of Bengal. With this achievement, India has successfully completed the nuclear triad which will give it the capacity to successfully fire nuclear- tipped missiles from land, air and sea. The missile has been developed by the Hyderabad laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and is part of the Indian Strategic Forces underwater platforms. U.S., China, Russia and France are the only other nations who have an underwater nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

06 Michael Hussey retires from Test Cricket Jan Cricket
Michael Hussey, fondly nicknamed Mr.Cricket because of his spectacular performances on the field, bid adieu to his Test Cricket career on 6th January, 2013. The Australian great announced his retirement on a winning note after Australia beat Sri Lanka in a 3-0 series whitewash. Hussey, who is 37 years old had an illustrious career and had been the man behind many of Australias wins. Hussey scored 6,235 runs at an average of 51.52 in 79 Tests.

18 Lance Armstrong admits to doping Armstrong Jan Lance Disgraced former cycling champion Lance Armstrong admitted to doping, in the first part of an elaborate twopart interview with Chat Show host Oprah Winfrey on her Own Network. Armstrong revealed that he had taken performance enhancing drugs that put him to the top of the Tour de France seven consecutive times. Earlier, he had been served with a lifetime ban from participating at all sanctioned events. World Anti-Doping Agency director-general David Howman said that Armstrong could provide information that might get his ban reduced to 8 years. Armstrong had returned to triathlons, where he begun his professional career as a teenager, after retiring from cycling in 2011 and had since then expressed his desire to make a comeback.

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27 Novak Djokovic wins Australian Open for record third consecutive time Jan Australian Open

World Tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic became the first person to win the Australian Open for the third consecutive time in the 45-year professional era. Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in a final that lasted 3 hours 40 minutes. It is Djokovics 4th Australian Open title joining Roger Federer and Andre Agassi, who had each won the Australian Open title 4 times.

29 Mumbai win 40th Ranji Trophy title Jan Ranji Trophy

Mumbai defeated Saurashtra by an innings and 125 runs, in less than 3 days to win the Ranji Trophy title at the Wankhede stadium. Mumbais pace attack headed by Ajit Agarkar and Dhawal Kulkarni helped the hosts defeat Saurashtra who were playing their first Ranji Trophy final. Though Mumbai were restricted to 355, Saurashtra could only manage 82 in 36.3 overs. Mumbai have reached the Ranji Trophy final 44 times. They have won the trophy a record 40 times and finished runners-up on 4 occasions.

17 Air India to ground six Dreamliners over safety concerns 787 Jan Boeing On the lines of US Airline Regulator FAA, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered Air India
to ground all six Boeing 787s, known as Dreamliners, over rising concerns on the safety standards of the batteries used in the aircraft. The issue surfaced when All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines (JAL), which are among the biggest customers of the Boeing 787, decided to ground their entire fleet. This was because ANA reported that a snag in the battery triggered a cockpit error message that forced the planes to land in Southwestern Japan. The DGCA directive might prove to be a hurdle in Air Indias revival plans as it was relying heavily on Boeing 787s for its return to profitability. The Dreamliner is the first commercial airliner to use Lithium-ion batteries so extensively. Investigations are on to find out the error. Lithium-ion batteries are notorious for overheating and have caused major issues for auto, computer and cell phone manufacturers.

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Starred Articles
28 Indias 82nd Union Budget announced > Union Budget Feb India Finance Minister Mr. P. Chidambaram presented Indias 82nd Union Budget on the 28th Of February. The total
budget expenditure for 2013-14 is seen at 16.65 lakh crore rupees. Out of this, non-planned expenditure is estimated at Rs. 11.1 lakh crore whereas planned expenditure is Rs. 5.5 lakh crore. Highlights of the Union Budget 2013-14: No change in basic tax slabs. Surcharge of 10 percent on those with a taxable income of over Rs. 1 crore. Surcharge on corporates with income over Rs. 10 crore raised to 10 percent from 5 percent. A tax credit of Rs. 2000 to every person with total income in the tax bracket of Rs. 2 lakhs to Rs. 5 lakhs Fiscal deficit for FY 2013 seen at 5.2 percent and for FY 2014 at 4.8 percent Additional deduction of interest up to Rs 1 lakh for a person taking first home loan up to Rs 25 lakh from 1st April, 2013 to 31st march, 2014 Foreign Portfolio Investment in excess of 10 percent will be considered as a Foreign Direct Investment. The entry rules for Foreign Institutional Investors (FIIs) will be eased further Government will borrow Rs. 6.3 lakh crore from the market The excise duty on mobile phones priced over Rs. 2000 will be hiked to 6 percent Rs. 1000 crore Nirbhaya Fund announced for the welfare of women. Duty free limit for Gold raised to Rs. 50,000 in case of male passengers and Rs. 1, 00,000 in case of female passengers. 10,000 crores set apart for expenditure likely under the Food Security Bill Rs. 3511 crore allocated to Minority Affairs Ministry Key Budget proposals across various sectors: Auto: 1) Excise Duty on SUVs hiked from 27% to 30% 2) Customs Duty on Luxury Vehicles hiked to 100 % 3) Higher allocation to JNNURM leading to additional demand of 10,000 buses augurs well for all commercial vehicle manufacturers FMCG: 1) Excise Duty on cigarettes increased by 18% 2) Tax on royalty increased from 10% to 25% Oil and Gas: 1) Import Duty on crude-oil might be re-imposed 2) Removal of 5% customs duty on LNG and Natural Gas Banking: 1) Rs. 14,000 crore capital infusion into Public Sector banks by 2013-14 2) PSU Banks to have ATMs at all their branches by 2013-14 3) Reduction in STT. Introduction of commodity transaction tax on non-agri products Infrastructure: 1) Constitution of a regulatory authority for road sector Page 1 of 21

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2) 3000 km of road projects to be awarded in first 6 months of FY 14 3) Infrastructure Development Funds (IDFs) to provide long-term low-cost debt 4) Two new ports to be set up in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh to add 100 million tonnes handling capacity 5) Tax-free infrastructure bonds of Rs.50,000 crore to be issued 6) Textile Ministry and Handloom Sector to be allocated Rs. 50 crore and Rs. 96 crore respectively 7) Incentive allowance of 15 percent over and above permitted depreciation to those investing over Rs.100 crore in infrastructure projects 8) Seven new cities identified along Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Healthcare: 1) Rs. 37,333 crore allocated for health and family welfare in 2013-14 2) Royalty / technical fees paid to NRIs increased to 25 percent Agriculture: 1) Rs.27,049 crore allocation to the Agriculture Ministry in 2013-14 2) Target of Rs. 7 lakh crore fixed for agriculture credit for 2013-14 compared to Rs. 5.75 lakh crore in the current year. 3) Eastern Indian states to get Rs. 1,000 crore allocation for improving agricultural production Costlier Mobile Phones Cigarettes Set Top Boxes MP3 Players Silk marble Cheaper Diamonds Leather goods Readymade garments Imported jewellery Handmade carpets Electrical plants

26 Railway Budget reveals Rs.63, 363 crore Annual Plan for Railways in 2013-14 Feb India > Railway Budget

Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal presented the railway budget on Tuesday, 26th Feb and announced that the annual plan for Railways in 2013-14 financial year is proposed at Rs.63, 363 crore. The amount of money for doubling of tracks, safety, and passenger and staff welfare has also been increased significantly from about Rs 11,410 crore in 2012-13 to Rs 13,220 crore for 2013-14, an increase of 16 per cent. The number of passengers is expected to increase by 5.2 per cent and as such the freight earning target has been increased by 9 per cent to Rs 93,554 crore. Financing sources of the annual Railways Plan for 2013-14: Gross Budgetary Support (GBS) Rs. 26,000 crore Road Safety Fund Rs. 2,000 crore Internal Resources Rs. 14,260 crore Market Borrowings Rs. 15,103 crore Public-Private Partnerships Rs. 6000 crore

Highlights of the budget: Financial: No increase in passenger fares - but reserved passengers to pay more Railways will absorb Rs. 850 crore on account of no hike in passenger fare Page 2 of 21

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Railways hopes to end 2013-14 with a balance of Rs. 12,506 crore Rs. 3,000 crore loan from Finance Ministry re-paid with interest by Railways this financial year 5 per cent average increase in freight

Infrastructural: 26 new passenger trains and 67 express trains to be launched along with 9 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains 500-km new lines to be completed in 2013-14 New coach manufacturing and maintenance facilities to be set up in various places including Rae Bareli, Bhilwara, Sonepat, Kalahandi, Kolar, Palakkad and Pratapgarh 26 new passenger trains and 67 express trains to be launched along with 9 Electric Multiple Unit (EMU) trains 500-km new lines to be completed in 2013-14 New coach manufacturing and maintenance facilities to be set up in various places including Rae Bareli, Bhilwara, Sonepat, Kalahandi, Kolar, Palakkad and Pratapgarh Induction of e-ticketing through mobile phones, SMS alerts to passengers New e-ticketing system to support 7200 users per minute Free wi-fi facilities in select trains. 60 more 'adarsh' stations Target of Rs. 4,000 crore for railway production units in 2014 Trying to connect Manipur through railways Safety measures including new coaches with anti-climb features to be brought in More ladies specials in metros and a helpline number to be implemented Labs to test food provided in trains. ISO certification for all rail kitchens Rs. 100 crore to be spent to augment facilities at Delhi, New Delhi and Nizamuddin railway stations Hiring: Seek to fill 1.52 lakh vacancies in railways this year. 47,000 vacancies for weaker sections and physically challenged to be filled up soon Impact: With increase in freight rates, that would be linked with the diesel price movements, the prices of those products which use the railways for transportation purposes might go up. The stock market has not reacted positively to the Railway Budget. Attainment of the revenue targets might be difficult given that it is based more on higher traffic on both passenger and freight, which is based largely on the state of the economy. Railways network expansion plans are also not in sync with the need of the hour. It has propsed only 500 km of new lines, and 450 km of converting to broad gauge, both of which are less than that of last year. BJP has termed the budget as Rae Bareilly budget. UPA allies Samajwadi party and Bahujan Samaj Party too have expressed discontent for ignoring Uttar Pradesh in the budget.

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04 Solicitor General of India Rohinton F Nariman resigns over differences with law minister Feb Politics and Government > Solicitor General of India
Rohinton F Nariman resigned on Monday, ending his tenure as the Solicitor General of India from July 2011 to January2013. It is believed that Nariman had resigned over serious differences of opinion with Law Minister Ashwani Kumar on representing the government in certain cases outside Delhi. Nariman was drafted in as Solicitor General of India in July 2011 after Gopal Subramaniam quit in protest against Narimans engagement as lawyer for Kapil Sibal in the 2G scam case. In the last four decades, only three people have managed to complete a full five-year term as Solicitor General L N Sinha (1972-77), Dipankar Gupta (1992-97) and G E Vahanvati (2004-09).

05 Europol uncovers match fixing in international football Feb Sports > Football

European anti-crime agency Europol declared that it had found evidence that around 680 matches including qualifying games for the World Cup and European Championships and for the champions league for European club sides had been fixed around the world in a scam run from Singapore. About 380 of the suspicious matches were played in Europe and a further 300 were played in Asia, Africa, South and Central America between 2008 and 2011. The racket involved a network of 425 corrupt officials, players and criminals in 15 countries and there was proof of 8 million Euros ($11 million) in gambling profits from the match fixing.

05 IMF lowers Indias 2012 growth forecast to 4.5 percent Feb Economy > Growth

The International Monetary Fund has lowered its projections for Indias economic growth to 4.5 percent for 2012 from its earlier projected figure of 4.9 percent, less than other South Asian nations such as Indonesia, Philippines and even Bangladesh. Although the size of the Indian economy is larger than these countries, their interest rates are lower and exports are growing compared to India. The IMF world economic outlook update showed the ASEAN 5 region comprising Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam growing by 5.7% in 2012, while the Emerging Market and Developing Economies block is forecast to grow 5.1%. Policy missteps, administrative paralysis and weak investments have been primarily responsible for Indias slow growth last year. However, the IMF predicted that the Indian Economy is likely to grow by 5.9percent in 2013, slightly lower than its earlier projection of 6 percent.

06 Dell to go private in $ 24.4 Billion buyout > Dell Feb Corporate Worlds third largest PC maker Dell decided to go private in a $ 24 billion leveraged buyout by a group of
investors that include company founder Michael Dell, private-equity firm Silver Lake and Microsoft Corporation. Dells decision to go private is part of an attempt to revive its PC business away from the financial pressures of the Wall Street. The deal is the largest leveraged buyout of any type since November 2007 when Alltel sold for $25 billion to TPG Capital and a Goldman Sachs subsidiary. PC sales had fallen 3.5 percent last year, the first annual decline in more than a decade and Dell and fellow technology companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Intel and Microsoft Corp. are witnessing slow growth because of the shift from PCs to smartphones and tablet computers. Page 4 of 21

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09 Parliament Attack convict Afzal Guru hanged in Tihar Jail Feb India > Parliament Attacks

Afzal Guru who was convicted in the 2001 Parliament attack case was hanged and buried in secrecy in Delhis Tihar Jail on Saturday, 9th February, 2013. President Pranab Mukherjee had rejected Gurus mercy petition on 3rd February and the Home Minister had given his approval on February 4 for the hanging. Curfew was imposed in Kashmir valley and local TV channels and SMSes were shut down in anticipation of protests against Gurus hanging. Despite the curfew, at least 50 persons were injured in different incidents of stray violence across the Kashmir Valley. The government faced strong criticism for not adequately informing Gurus family about his execution and not giving them one last chance to meet him. Afzal Gurus family received a letter on Monday 11th February, two days after his execution, disclosing that he was to be hanged on February 9, for his role in the 2001 attack on Parliament. Gurus family said that they heard of the execution via news channels. However, Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde said that the letter had been sent by speed post two days before the execution i.e. on the midnight of 7th February. Meanwhile, Human Rights activists expressed their dissent at Afzal Gurus sudden hanging as advocate Kamini Jaiswal who was representing Guru said that the government failed to consider a petition in the Supreme Court that challenged on whether death sentence should be applicable if not implemented within a certain time period. Jaiswal also questioned on why the government had hanged Guru in such hurry when the Supreme Court was still hearing the petition.

11 Pope Benedict XVI to resign over age related health issues Feb World > Roman Catholic Church

Pope Benedict XVI announced that hell retire on February 28, saying that he is too old to discharge his duties of office as the head of the worlds Roman Catholics. This is the first Papal resignation after Gregory XII in 1415. The next Pope will be chosen by members of a 117 member nominating conclave held in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Background: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI on 19th April, 2005 after Pope John Paul II's death. Pope Benedict was a doctrinal conservative who asserted that Catholicism is true and other religions are deficient and that Catholicism is in competition with Islam. He also opposed homosexuality, the ordination of women priests, stem cell research, abortion and the use of condoms to stop HIV/AIDS. Some specific controversies during his papacy; 1. In 2006 the Pope, while delivering a lecture, referred to a controversial 14th century statement by a Byzantine emperor that had called Muhammads preaching evil and inhuman and also referred to Jihad as violence in the name of religion. This sparked off protests throughout the Muslim World. 2. On 24 January 2009 the Pope lifted the excommunication of four bishops, Bernard Fellay, Bernard Tissier de Mallerais, Richard Williamson, and Alfonso de Galaretta. A number of progressive Catholics expressed surprise at the Popes decision to revoke the excommunications. Bishop Williamsons denial of the Nazi genocide killing six million Jews have lent credibility to the accusation that he is a Holocaust denier. The lifting of his excommunication presented problems for Catholic-Jewish relations, culminating in the Chief Rabbinate of Israel severing ties with the State of the Vatican City in protest on 28 January 2009.

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3. Benedicts tenure as Pope was marked by the expose of sexual abuse scandals in the Roman Catholic Church and his lenient behavior towards the accused priests.

12 Head of Italian firm arrested on bribery charges in a helicopter purchase deal with India Feb Politics and Government > Helicopter Deal Scam
Italian authorities have arrested Giuseppe Orsi, CEO of Italian military consortium Finmeccanica on charges of bribery related to a helicopter purchase deal with India. On Feb 8, 2010, the Defence Ministry signed a Rs. 3,546 cr deal to buy a dozen AW-101 helicopters for Indian VVIPs from UK-based AgustaWestland, a subsidiary of Finmeccanica. Italian authorities suspect that about 51 Million Euros (Rs. 350 cr) had been paid in bribes to politicians and other middlemen involved in the deal. The arrests have put substantial pressure on the Indian government forcing it to launch a CBI probe into the deal. The names of an Indian lawyer Gautam Khaitan, Sanjeev Tyagi (the cousin of a former IAF chief) and a firm Aeromatrix also allegedly figured in tape conversations according to the Italian probe.

14 American Airlines and US Airways to merge in $ 11 billion deal Feb Corporate > Mergers

AMR Corporations American Airlines and US Airways are set to merge in a $ 11 bn deal that would form the worlds biggest airline. American Airlines had sought bankruptcy protection on November 29, 2011. American Airlines bankruptcy creditors will have 72% share of the new company while 28% will go to US Airways shareholders. US Airways Chief Executive Officer Doug Parker will run the new airline, which will retain the name American Airlines whereas AMRs CEO Tom Horton will become the new chairman. The AMR-US Airways merger still requires approval from the US Justice Department and needs to be endorsed by the court overseeing AMRs bankruptcy.

14 Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) orders freezing of accounts of Sahara Group Companies Feb two Corporate > Sahara
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has ordered freezing of the bank accounts of Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd on its failure to refund money in a high-profile investor refund case involving over Rs. 24,000 crore. SEBI has also ordered the attachment of properties of the two companies, their top executives, including the Group Chairman Subrata Roy and has also asked the two Sahara firms to furnish, within 21 days, details of their investments. Background: SEBI said that Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd had raised Rs 6,380 crore and Rs 19,400 crore respectively from bondholders; and various illegalities were committed in raising of these funds. The Supreme Court, in August 2012, had asked Sahara group firms to refund the money with 15 per cent interest and had asked SEBI to facilitate the refund. The group, in December 2012, was allowed to pay the money in three installments, including an immediate payment of Rs 5,120 crore, followed by an installment of Rs 10,000 crore in the first week of January and remainder by the first week of February 2013. SEBI said that neither of the two installments had been paid and therefore it was initiating action as per Supreme Court orders. Page 6 of 21

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14 Oscar Pistorius charged with girlfriend's murder Feb World > Oscar Pistorius

Paralympic sportstar from South Africa, Oscar Pistorius, has been charged with murder after his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was shot dead at his home. The exact circumstances surrounding the murder are yet not clear. The news that he may have killed his girlfriend has shocked the country as the athlete is one of South Africa's national icons. In 2009 Pistorius was arrested and charged with common assault by South African police for slamming a door on a woman at his home. The charges were later dropped. Background: Oscar Pistorius is a Johannesburg-born athlete, who was born without fibulas in his legs and had his limbs amputated below the knee when he was just 11 months old. Pistorius made history at the London 2012 Olympics when he became the first double-amputee sprinter to compete in the able-bodied Games, running in the 400m and 4x400m relay. He reached the 400m semi-finals in the London 2012 Olympics. At the Paralympics he won silver in the T44 200m, gold in the 4x100 relay and gold in the T44 400m, setting a Paralympic record. In 2008 he won a legal battle over his blades with the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) for the right to compete in able-bodied competitions.

14 French Prez Hollande in India to dicuss defence & trade deals Feb World > Indo-French Relations

India and France, went one step further to cement their trade ties during the visit of French President Francois Hollande to India. This is the first visit of the newly-elected French President to an emerging country in Asia. The ties between the two countries cover areas such as defence, civil nuclear energy, space and counterterrorism, besides education, science and technology and culture. Among the defence deals likely to be inked would be for Indias $2-billion light utility helicopter (LUH) programme. Eurocopter of France is one of the competitive bidders to sell 197 LUHs to India. India and France have also been working on the short-range surface-to-air missile (SRSAM) project for the past few years. The two big ticket deals with France the over $10-billion contract for the purchase of 126 Rafale fighter jets and French reactors for the Jaitapur nuclear power plant are not ready for being inked during the visit.

19 Reader's Digest files for bankruptcy Feb Corporate > Reader's Digest

The parent company of Reader's Digest magazine, RDA Holding Co., filed for a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which allows the firm the opportunity to reorganize its debt and to try to re-emerge as a healthy organization, as part of a financial restructuring move that includes reducing its $465 million debt and converting it to equity .The company also has a commitment for $105 million in debtor-in-possession financing. Last year, RDA sold its Allrecipes.com property to Des Moines-based magazine publisher Meredith for $175 million and its Weekly Reader to Scholastic for an undisclosed sum.

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According to RDA Holding CEO Robert Guth, this course of action will most effectively enable them to maintain their momentum in transforming the business and allow them to capitalize on the growing strength and presence of their outstanding brands and products. The 91-year-old magazine was once among the world's best-selling magazines.

21 14 killed and several injured in Hyderabad blasts Feb India > Hyderabad Blasts

Two powerful bombs fastened to parked bicycles exploded in Hyderabads busy Dilsukhnagar Area on Thursday, 21st February killing 14 people and injuring 119 others. The two bombs went off at around 7pm in the evening near the Dilsukhnagar bus stop and a popular movie theatre. The blasts are suspected to be the handiwork of banned outfit Indian Mujahideen. The government has ordered the National Security Guard to probe into the blast and has sanctioned Rs 2 lakh each to next of kin of those killed and Rs 50,000 each to those seriously injured.

22 Air Asia to launch low-fare flight plan for tier-II and tier-II I Indian cities Feb India > Aviation

Malaysia based budget airlines Air Asia will launch low-fare flight plan for tier-II and tier-III city routes. It is expected to give tough competition to Spice Jet which already has a strong regional presence and Jet Airways and Indigo which have aggressive expansion plans in tier II and II cities. Air Asias primary strategy has been its low-cost structure which has enabled it to offer some of the lowest fares among airlines in Asia. In 2001, Air Asia had a domestic market share of 9.8% in Malaysia and by 2011; it had grown to become the largest carrier in the country with 58% market share. On international routes, it had a share of 0.9% in 2001, which rose to 39% in 2011. Air Asia CEO Tony Fernandez said that price would be the key differentiator with other Indian carriers and it would avoid certain airports which are most costly. Air Asias cost per available seat per kilometer or CASK was the lowest globally at $4.1 in 2011. Indian competitor Spice Jets CASK was $4.7 while Jet Airways CASK was even higher at $7.9.

22 Reserve Bank of India to allow private players to enter the banking sector Feb Bank Specific > RBI

The Reserve Bank of India, on Friday 22nd Feb, released new rules that would allow private players and nonbanking finance firms to enter the tightly regulated banking sector. Private sector companies, public sector groups and non-banking finance companies are eligible to apply for new bank licenses by July 1 by setting up non-operative financial holding companies. The minimum equity capital required for setting up a bank under the new rules is Rs. 500 crore. Also, foreign shareholding should not exceed 49 per cent in the first five years. Yes Bank was the last private sector bank to enter in 2004, as the RBI had kept tough entry barriers to protect depositors and ensure stability of the financial system.

25 Kingfisher loses international flying rights and domestic slots > Kingfisher Feb Corporate The Ministry of Civil Aviation has decided to withdraw with immediate effect the international bilateral traffic
rights of Kingfisher Airlines because of non-utilization affecting routes to Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, UAE and the UK. These international traffic rights, which are in much demand, Page 8 of 21

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will be made available to others carriers which will help increase 25,000 extra seats per week. In another significant move, the domestic slots allotted to Kingfishers Airlines were also withdrawn so that they can be made available to other domestic carriers. Kingfisher, controlled by Vijay Mallya, was once India's second biggest airline but has reported annual losses for five years in a row. It has $1.4bn (870m) in debts and its license to fly has expired at the end of 2012. The airline has been grounded since October 2012, following repeated strikes by workers over unpaid wages.

26 No party wins clear majority in Italian parliamentary Elections Feb Politics and Government > Italy Elections

The recently concluded parliamentary elections in Italy might result in a hung parliament as none of the parties had succeeded in obtaining a majority in the Upper House of Parliament known as the Senate. The center-left coalition headed by Pier Luigi Bersani has won the lower house vote but has failed to secure a majority in the Senate. Bersani's coalition won 29.54% of the vote cast for the lower house, less than half a percentage point more than the center-right coalition headed by controversial three-time Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which garnered 29.18% of the vote. Of the total vote cast for the Senate, the center-left won 31.63% of the vote, compared with the center-right's 30.72%. Comedian turned politician Beppe Grillo's anti-austerity Five Star Movement seemed to have gained widespread popularity among the masses and won 25.55% of the votes in the Lower House. Meanwhile, a bloc led by current Prime Minister Mario Monti came fourth, with only about 10% of the votes in the Lower House. Italys large government debt is a problem for the entire Eurozone. The absence of a clear majority in the Italian parliament will likely delay Italys efforts to achieve economic growth and strengthen public sector finances. Background: Italian parliamentarians are elected for five-year terms, with the current one due to end in April, 2013. But in December, the People of Freedom Party (PDL) led by Berlusconi withdrew its support of the reformist government led by Mario Monti, saying it was pursuing policies that "were too German-centric." Monti subsequently resigned, and the parliament was dissolved. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi left office in November 2011, facing claims of economic mismanagement as the Eurozone struggled to contain Italy's debt crisis. Berlusconi was convicted of a tax fraud in 2012 for which he was sentenced to four years in jail. The verdict will be delivered after the elections.

26 85th Academy Awards announced, Daniel Day Lewis wins best actor for time Feb third Awards > Oscars
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) presented the 85th Academy Awards, more commonly referred to as the Oscars, on the 4th of February to honor the best films of 2012. The ceremony was held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California. It was the most watched ceremony since the 76th Academy Awards in 2004, with 42.40 million viewers. Life of Pi won four awards (the most for the evening), including Best Director for Ang Lee. Argo won three awards, including Best Picture. Les Misrables also won three awards. Django Unchained, Lincoln and Skyfall won two awards each. Other winners were Silver Linings Playbook, Brave, Zero Dark Thirty, Anna Karenina, Searching for Sugar Man, Inocente, Curfew, Amour and Paperman with one award each. Daniel Day-Lewis won the Best Actor award for a third time, portraying the titular character in Lincoln. With his win, Lewis became the first actor to win three best-actor Academy Page 9 of 21

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Awards, adding the top prize to those for 2007's There Will Be Blood and 1989's My Left Foot. Jennifer Lawrence won the Best Actress award for her role in Silver Linings Playbook.

12 Pandit Ravi Shankar awarded Best World Music Album Grammy Feb Grammy
Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar was on Sunday, 10th Feb, posthumously awarded the best world music album trophy at the 55th Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles. Pandit Shankar had also been conferred the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Recording Academy a day prior to the Grammies. His album The Living Room Sessions Part 1 beat competition from daughter Anoushka Shankars Traveller, Amadou and Mariams Folila, Daneil Hoes On a Gentle Island Breeze and Hugh Masekelas Jabulani to win the award.

Bank Specific
15 SBI net up 4% on bad loan provisions Feb SBI

State Bank of India's (SBI) third quarter net profit rose at a slower pace by only 4 percent year-on-year to Rs 3,400 crores on the back of lower net interest income, which declined nearly 3% year-on-year to Rs 11,154 crore during the same period. Over the last one year, the bank has been aggressively cutting its base rate, which has impacted its interest margin. Its strong CASA (Current Account Saving Account ) base will help protect its interest margin. While SBI expanded its loan book nearly 16 per cent to Rs 9.78 lakh crore, gross non-performing asset ratio increased to 5.30 per cent (at Rs 53,460 crore) as against 5.15 per cent in the July-September quarter.

01 Court denies rights to Bisleri to market Maaza in India Feb Maaza
The Delhi High Court in a recent verdict declared that Bisleri could not market Maaza in India though it could use the brand in overseas markets. The verdict follows a five-year old court case between Bisleri International proprietor Ramesh Chauhan and Coca Cola International over the trademark rights of Maaza mango drink. Though Bisleri cannot sell Maaza in India, it can manufacture it for export outside India. Bisleri already sells Maaza in four countries outside India, whereas Coca Cola has yet not marketed Maaza overseas. Background: Coca Cola reentered India in 1993 and bought out Parle beverage brands namely Thums Up, Limca, GoldSpot, Citra and Maaza from Ramesh Chauhan. Coca Cola had filed for registration of Maaza in some international markets in 2007 following which Bisleri sent a legal notice to Coca Cola in 2008 stating that it was the neither the owner nor proprietor of the trademark Maaza. Page 10 of 21

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13 Banks decide to recall loans given to Kingfisher Airlines Feb Kingfisher A consortium of lenders led by SBI has decided to start the process of recovering Rs. 7,500 cr outstanding loans
from the non-operational Kingfisher Airlines, because of the airlines failure to come up with a specific revival plan. Each bank will decide its individual course of action. The banks might start encashing securities including Kingfisher owner Vijay Mallyas personal property if the airline fails to repay the loans as well as overdue payments amounting to more than Rs. 1,000 cr.

13 Philips stops production of TV sets and video players Feb Philips Philips has decided to stop production of TV sets and video players to focus more on the profitable consumer
lifestyle, healthcare and lighting businesses. With this, Philips aims to completely shut down its poorly performing home-entertainment business. Philips Chief Executive Frans Van Houten has also cut jobs and overheads, including office space and IT systems, scaled back inventory to free up cash flow, and launched a 2 billion euro share buyback aimed at bringing Philips back on a profitable note. All these reform measures have pushed the stock to its highest level since March, 2011.

18 Uninor shuts services in Mumbai, 18 lakh users suffer Feb Uninor

Telecom operator Uninor shut down its Mumbai operations following a Supreme Court order. The court had cancelled 22 licences of Uninor in February 2012. The shutdown follows a Supreme Court order that all operators who did not win spectrum in the previous auctions close down services immediately. The majority stakeholder of the company, Telenor, participated in November 2012 auction through new entity Telewings Communications and won spectrum in six circles .Telenor is now in process of transferring business of Uninor in Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, UP East, UP West, Bihar and Jharkhand and Andhra Pradesh service areas, to Telewings Communications. Uninor said it will sign roaming agreements with other operators to ensure that all Uninor customers get seamless connectivity when travelling to Mumbai.

21 Exxon Mobil Corp. to acquire Celtic Exploration in a $ 2.6 billion deal Feb Acquisitions

The Canadian government has approved the acquisition of Celtic Exploration Ltd by Exxon Mobil Corporation. In October, 2012, Exxon Mobil agreed to buy Celtic Exploration at a price of $2.6 bn with an objective to increase its presence in some of Western Canadas most promising shale oil and gas regions. The Investment Canada Act requires the government to approve certain foreign investments only after determining whether those investments are of net benefit to the country. In December, Canada had approved China's biggest foreign takeover, the $15.1 billion bid by CNOOC Ltd for energy company Nexen Inc, but later put forth strict restrictions on future acquisitions by foreign state-owned companies.

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21 Info Edge India acquires 57.9 percent stake in online restaurant guide Zomato Feb Acquisitions
Info Edge India has acquired a majority stake of 57.9 % in Zomato by investing Rs. 55 crore. Info Edge had earlier invested Rs. 31 crore in Zomato, which makes its total investment in the company Rs 86 crore. Although Info Edge has become a majority shareholder, it wouldnt change the operating relationship between the investors and the founders. Over the last 3 years, Info Edge has invested almost Rs. 200 crore in 7 to 8 unrelated internet companies, with a view to increase its presence in the e-commerce segment. Background: Info Edge is an on-line classifieds company that has websites and associated businesses in recruitment, matrimony, real estate and education. Zomato is a restaurant discovery platform with in-depth information on restaurants.

22 iGATE CEO Phaneesh Murthy aims to change the IT industrys traditional billing model Feb iGATE
iGATE CEO and former Infosys executive Phaneesh Murthy aims to change the IT industrys traditional billing model by following a model of outcome based billing, instead of basing fees on the time and labour put in by the workers of IT companies. Such a billing model might be appealing to clients with less-certain budgets in a tough economy. If the services don't deliver an agreed-upon result, the customer pays less. The strategy is also expected to boost profit margins for IT companies. However, opinion remains divided as to which one of the two is a better billing model.

26 GSM Players to jointly boycott spectrum auctions next month Feb Spectrum Auctions

GSM companies will jointly boycott next months CDMA spectrum auctions complaining that the reserve price was too high and that there were issues in the reallocation process which needed legal resolution before deciding on a bidding strategy. Russian conglomerate Sistemas Indian mobile phone unit is the only company to have filed its application to participate in the bidding process. The boycott could serve as a major setback to the Finance Ministrys objective to raise revenue of Rs. 30,000 crore from the sale of mobile airwaves, to help in containing the fiscal deficit. The telecom industrys current strategy is in sharp contrast to 2010 when the same companies bid over Rs. 1 lakh crore for 3G and BWA spectrum.

28 Indian IT companies eye HP deals coming up for renewals Feb Software Industry

Indian Outsourcing Companies are looking forward to acquire many of Hewlett Packards deals that are coming up for renewal. HP has key outsourcing deals worth billions of dollars such as those with American Express and Bank of America that are coming up for renewal. About $100 billion (Rs 5.4 lakh crore) worth of IT outsourcing deals will expire in 2013, with almost 15% of it being with HP. HCL Technologies and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) seem to be the most successful ones among Indias top tier outsourcing firms competing for HP clients. A major concern for HP could be that clients are asking for flexible engagement models with elements of computing offered as a service, lower costs, and higher value and Indian companies are aggressively pitching newer technology-based solutions to these clients at lower price points. Page 12 of 21

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28 Facebook buys Atlas Ad Business from Microsoft Feb Facebook - Microsoft

Facebook announced that it has acquired Microsoft's Atlas Advertiser Suite, an online ad business and management service. Facebook did not disclose the price of the deal but said that the deal will benefit both marketers and users. The company said it looked to Atlas to help marketers and agencies get a full view of campaign performance, noting the service's capabilities for this type of analysis and measurement.

14 Japanese economy shrinks 0.4% in 4th quarter due to declining exports and business investment Feb Japan
The Japanese economy contracted at an annualized rate of 0.4% in the October to December quarter, marking it the third consecutive quarter of contraction due to declining exports and business investment. The economic contraction is largely due to a 3.7 percent decline in the export of Japanese goods and services abroad and a decline in domestic demand. Efforts to revive the economy are on with the Japanese Government approving a 10.3 trillion yen ($116bn; 72bn) stimulus package in January. Further, reform measures by Japans Central Bank have reduced the value of the Yen which has made Japanese goods affordable in foreign markets and has increased earnings of Japanese exporters.

19 Finance Ministry to pay Rs. 34,000 crore to states for losses from Central Sales Tax rate cut Feb Finance Ministry
The Union Finance Ministry has agreed to pay Rs. 34,000 crore compensation package to states that have lost revenue in 2010-11 due to the reduction of Central Sales tax to 2 percent. The centre will compensate states fully for 2010-11, pay for 75% of the losses in 2011-12 and refund half the losses for 2012-13. The Centre has already paid Rs 6,393 crore as compensation to states for 2010-11 but claims amounting to Rs 19,000 crore are still pending. The Finance Ministry is likely to introduce the Goods and Services Tax in the 2013-14 budget and make a provision in it for fully compensating states for CST losses in 2010-11.

21 Income Tax Department asks HSBC Geneva A/C holders to submit details of accounts and surrender rights under the Swiss Secrecy Law Feb Income-Tax
Income-tax officials have asked account holders of HSBC Geneva to sign on a two-page letter spelling out their account details and surrendering their rights under the Swiss secrecy law. The individuals concerned have been told by tax officials to mail the signed letter to two in-house lawyers of the bank and submit a copy to the Income - Tax Department. A letter from account holders, authorizing the bank to share account records will allow the Indian Income- Tax Department to access transaction details and raise tax claims on undisclosed income. The department's decision to seek account holders' consent is probably aimed at saving time. Invoking the information-sharing agreement between the two countries, which came into effect on Jan 1, 2012, in Switzerland and on April 1, 2012, in India, could have been a more time-consuming process. The I-T Page 13 of 21

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department has already launched prosecution proceedings against persons named in the list of Indian account holders with LGT Bank in Liechtenstein, a tax haven near Germany.

05 Kalmadi and 9 others put on trial in Commonwealth Games corruption case Feb Commonwealth Games

Former Commonwealth Games chief organizer Suresh Kalmadi and 9 others including Lalit Bhanot and V K Verma were put on a trial for illegally awarding contracts to a Swiss firm that caused a loss of Rs. 90 crore to the exchequer. The contract for the CWG's timing, scoring and results system awarded to Swiss Timing cost Rs 157 crore while Spanish firm MSL's Rs 62 crore bid was unfairly eliminated by the Kalmadi-led organizing committee. The accused, who have been charge sheeted by a CBI special court, face charges of criminal conspiracy, forgery, cheating and other offences invoked against them.

11 36 killed in Stampede at Allahabad Kumbh Mela Feb Kumbh Mela

36 people were killed in a stampede at the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad where around 30 million people had gathered to bathe at the point where the Ganga and the Yamuna rivers are said to meet the mystical Saraswati river. Twenty seven of the dead were women most elderly and poor. There are contradictory versions of what caused the stampede. Railway officials attributed it to a baton charge by the police which triggered the stampede. According to the State government, it was caused by a footbridge handrail collapse which sent people slipping down the stairs starting a stampede. UP minister Mohammad Azam Khan resigned as Kumbh Mela in charge owing moral responsibility for the stampede.

12 Public Prosecutor A.K. Singh removed from 2G spectrum case trial Feb 2G Spectrum Case

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has removed public prosecutor A.K. Singh from the 2G spectrum trial case after allegations surfaced that Singh was in touch with Sanjay Chandra, the managing director of Unitech. Chandra is one of the prime accused in the 2G Spectrum case. The CBI possesses an audio clip containing the purported conversations between Mr. Singh and Mr. Chandra discussing specifics of the ongoing 2G trial. The CBI has initiated an enquiry to probe the charges against Singh and has appointed a new prosecutor in his place.

12 Suryanelli Rape case Convict claims involvement of P J Kurien Feb Suryanelli Rape Case

Dharmarajan, the lone convict in the Suryanelli Gang Rape case has claimed that P J Kurien, the Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha was involved in the incident as claimed by the victim. Dharmarajan, who alone was convicted by the High Court in 2005 while acquitting 35 others in the case, alleged that former ADGP Sibi Mathews, who headed the SIT, insisted that he should not name Kurien in the case. Kurien and Sibi both rejected Dharmarajans claim. Dharmarajan has been absconding since being convicted in 2005. Background: Page 14 of 21

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The Suryanelli rape case concerns a 16-year-old girl who was sexually harassed and assaulted continuously for 40 days by 42 men in 1996. The girl from Suryanelli in Idukki district of Kerala in India was transported from place to place across Kerala. The accused included some well-known and well-placed individuals including the congress leader P J Kurien.

18 More evidences in 2G call transcripts Feb 2G Spectrum Case

New evidence has surfaced in the 2G call transcripts controversy which suggests that the public prosecutor A.K. Singh had been in communication with the accused Shahid Balwa of Swan Telecom, either directly or through a third party. Mr. Singh further cited judgments favouring the accused, suggesting that these should be used by defence counsel to destroy the prosecutions case. Earlier the CBI had removed public prosecutor A. K. Singh from the 2G spectrum trial case after allegations surfaced that he was in touch with Sanjay Chandra, the Managing Director of Unitech. Detailed call transcripts of a conversation allegedly between A.K. Singh and Sanjay Chandra, reveal that the prosecutor was additionally in discussion with Shahid Balwa of Swan Telecom.

19 Weak realty market a blessing in disguise for big corporates Feb Realty Market

The slow real estate market has helped many companies, both Indian and foreign, to move their headquarters to bigger and better offices. Multinational giants such as Bayer CropScience, L'Oreal, Pepsi-Co, Volkswagen and FedEx along with Indian corporate majors such as Cipla, Britannia and HDFC have cleverly used the slow market trend to save on both fronts cost and space. Global financial majors like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup have also used the current weak market to strike large realty deals for increasing their operations in Mumbai and Bangalore, respectively. This is a much-awaited opportunity for commercial occupiers who are looking to shift operations. The prices and rentals of commercial properties aren't likely to move up, which will attract more such deals.

25 the Rs. 3,600 crore helicopter deal Feb Scam

CBI name former IAF chief Tyagi and his 3 cousins in preliminary enquiry in
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has registered a preliminary enquiry against 11 persons, including the former IAF Chief, Air Chief Marshal S.P. Tyagi, and his cousins, besides four companies, in connection with the alleged payment of bribes by Italian firm AgustaWestland through middlemen in India to bag the Rs. 3,600crore deal for supply of 12 VVIP helicopters. The names of Indians in the chopper deal came to light during a probe by the Italian agencies. The former IAF chief has already denied his role in the matter. According to the preliminary enquiry, Finmeccanica, parent company of AgustaWestland, paid a commission to European intermediaries, through whom payments in installments were made to Indian nationals to ensure that the contract for supply of choppers was awarded to the company. The bribe money was transferred allegedly through two Indian companies, IDS Infotech and Aeromatrix, which have been named in the PE, besides Finmeccanica and AgustaWestland. The former Finmeccanica head, Giuseppe Orsi, and the former AgustaWestland Chief Executive Officer, Bruno Spagnolini, have also been named.

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28 Etihad wants Indian government assurance for protection of Jet investment Feb Aviation

The Etihad management wants an assurance from the government of India that its investment in Jet Airways would be protected. Etihad had expressed concerns that it might meet a fate similar to Etisalat, the UAE-based telecom company which lost over Rs 3,000 crore in the 2G fiasco. The Jet-Etihad deal is likely to be delayed till the government gives an assurance regarding its commitment to protect Foreign Direct Investment. Earlier, the UAE-based airline Etihad had announced that it will pick up a 24% stake in the Naresh Goyal owned Jet Airways and the Ministry of Civil Aviation had given its nod to the deal.

18 PSU banks to hire 56,500 jobs in next 6 months Feb Jobs

Public sector banks in India will recruit over 56,500 personnel in the next six months in the highest ever recruitment drive by the banking industry in more than a decade. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is also set to issue new licences to PSU banks permitting them to open new branches. The Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS) , which is in charge of conducting common written exam and common interview for nationalized banks, said 20 nationalized banks excluding State Bank of India will hire 22415 officers and 32453 clerks.

28 General Studies to carry more weight in UPSC Feb UPSC

The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) notified that it will give more weight to General Studies by introducing new papers replacing optional subjects in its Main examination. This will ensure that all candidates are judged on the basis of in-depth knowledge and understanding rather than information gathered at the last moment. The civil services examination (CSE), which is meant for selecting candidates for elite central services like IAS, IFS, IPS, IRS and others, has three stages comprising preliminary, mains and personality test (interview). The Commission has, so far, temporarily withheld issuance of a notification for this year's civil services examinations, which was scheduled to be notified on February 2. The Commission, however, later said it could not notify the CSE due to some unforeseen circumstances.

Politics & Government

02 Pakistan hands over operation of Gwadar Port to China Feb China

Pakistans cabinet, in its latest decision, transferred the operation responsibility of the strategically located Gwadar Port to China from the Port of Singapore Authority (PSA). Gwadar port, a deep-sea port situated on the Arabian Sea in Baluchistan Province of Pakistan, was built by China but managed by PSA, which had recently decided to withdraw from the contract over issues of land transfers, security and poor infrastructure. Pakistan expects China to complete the port development in record time and turn it into a naval base. Gwadar can be an important strategic port for China for transporting oil and gas through pipelines into northwestern Page 16 of 21

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China. In case of a conflict, Chinas energy supplies can be routed through Gwadar where Pakistan navy can add to the security.

18 Nagaland Minister detained for carrying 1 cr, arms Feb Nagaland Nagaland Home Minister Imkong L Imchen was detained for allegedly transporting Rs 1.10 crore in cash, arms
and ammunition and liquor in a vehicle in Wokha district in the poll-bound state. He was going to his constituency Koridanga from Kohima when Assam Rifles personnel conducting search of vehicles near Wokha district found the arms and ammunition, liquor and cash. Imchen is the Nagaland People's Front (NPF) candidate from Koridanga and is also the NPF campaign in-charge of Mokokchung district. Earlier in June 2010, Imchen was detained at Kathmandus Tribhuwan International Airport after he was found carrying Rs.9 lacs in Indian currency, in denominations of Rs. 500 and Rs.1000.To prevent counterfeit, Indian currency of both denominations are banned in Nepal.

19 Govt cash-strapped, keeps bloating Feb Crisis

The government is fighting to restore the health of its battered public finances - and even contemplating measures like taxing the super rich - but there is hardly any talk of reducing the government employee population. The government has budgeted over Rs 1.15 lakh crore in salaries, allowances and travel bills for 34.1 lakh employees, which is very large as compared to the expenditure on almost the same employee population a decade ago when the government roughly had the same number of employees (32.2 lakh) and spent Rs 31,000 crore in paying their salaries, allowances and travel bill. While the government has maintained a freeze on fresh hiring for the past several years, it has increasingly depended on contract workers for odd jobs, which has also added to expenditure.

26 Park Geun-hye becomes South Korea's first female president Korea Feb South Park Geun-hye became South Korea's first female president on Monday, 25th February securing 52% of the
votes. She is the daughter of Park Chung-hee, one of the founders of modern Korea who took power after a coup d'etat and ruled for 18 years before being shot dead by his intelligence chief in 1979. Park pledged to build a policy of trust between North and South Korea and stressed on her policy of trustpolitik which speaks of establishing mutually binding expectations based on global norms. She also vowed to restructure welfare programs and increase job opportunities for the people of South Korea.

28 Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to be set up to inquire into bribery on the Rs. 3,600 crore helicopter deal Feb allegations Chopper Scam
The government has moved to set up a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to inquire into allegations of bribes being taken in the procurement of VVIP helicopters from Augusta Westland and the role of alleged Page 17 of 21

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middleman in the transaction. The entire opposition protested this move and walked out saying that the government was trying to divert from the topic as the JPC had no investigative powers and the matter required custodial interrogation which the JPC couldnt do. The CBI had, already, framed a charge sheet accusing former IAF chief S P Tyagi and 10 others for allegedly taking bribes for securing the chopper deal.

Science and Technology

02 Hackers gain access to 2, 50, 00 users data on Twitter Feb Twitter

Social Networking site Twitter said on Friday that hackers may have gained access to usernames, e-mail addresses and encrypted passwords of around 2, 50,000 of its users. Twitter said that it shut down one attack just moments after it was detected. Twitter has reset the pilfered passwords and sent mails to all users requesting them to create new ones. The incident might have happened after an employees home or work computer was hacked through loopholes in the Java computing language.

13 Mice not the perfect test-subject for all humans ills Feb Mice

Researchers have found that mice, which have been the favourite test-subject of researchers since ages, might not be the perfect model for all human diseases. Researchers in the study said that the mice-model has been totally misleading for three major diseases sepsis, burns and trauma. Researchers also said that mice as a test-subject might be doubtful to research diseases involving the immune system, including cancer and heart disease. For instance, Mice can have something that looks like sepsis, but is very different from the condition in humans. Medical experts said that the revelation would change the course of research worldwide for Sepsis, a potentially fatal infection that is considered as one of the main reasons of ICU deaths in the US every year.

14 Air pollution fifth leading cause of death in India: Study Feb Pollution

According to the Centre for Science and Environment's (CSE) analysis of government data and the Global Burden of Disease report's data on India, air pollution has become the fifth leading cause of death in India after high blood pressure, indoor air pollution, tobacco smoking and poor nutrition, with about 6,20,000 premature deaths occurring from air pollution-related diseases. Out of the 180 cities that were monitored, only two towns - Malapuram and Pathanamthitta in Kerala - met the low pollution norms for all pollutants. The top five critically polluted cities include Gwalior, West Singbhum, Ghaziabad, Raipur, and Delhi. The analysis concluded that the number of premature deaths due to air pollution had increased six fold over the last 10 years.

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16 Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) launches technology transfer to boost rural development Feb initiative BARC
The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai is launching a technology transfer initiative in and around Madurai to focus on areas of water, agriculture, food processing, storage and preservation and solid waste management. The technology transfer and collaboration division of BARC will demonstrate affordable technologies to farmers, entrepreneurs, officials, students, women self-help groups and non-governmental organizations which will boost rural development and make villages self-reliant. Foldable solar driers for farmers, shelf-life increasing technology for onions and preservation models are part of the technology transfer initiative that will facilitate production and help in revenue generation.

20 Iceland to export excess electricity to Europe Feb Iceland

Iceland has one of the worlds largest reserves of Geo-thermal Energy which allows it to produce a large amount of electricity. Iceland, which has a population of 3,20,000 people, sells only about 17% of its electricity to households and local industry and the rest goes to aluminum smelters owned by foreign companies. The cost of electricity in Ireland is less than half the going rate in the European Union.The state-owned power company, Landsvirkjun, which operates the Krafla facility, Icelands first geo-thermal power station, is contemplating ways to transport the excess electricity to the 500 million customers of the European Union and sell it at a much higher price. The power company has conducted extensive research into the possibility of a massive extension cord or a submarine interconnector, to transport the electricity. Such a cable would probably go first to the northern tip of Scotland, which, about 700 miles away, is relatively close and then all the way to continental Europe, nearly 1,200 miles away. That is more than three times longer than a link between Norway and the Netherlands, which is currently the worlds longest. A connection to Europe would not only allow Iceland to tap the export market but also to import electricity from Europe in the event of a crisis, a backup that would allow it to stop keeping large emergency reserves, as it does now. A government committee is looking into idea of the cable project to transmit electricity.

12 Wrestling removed from 2020 Olympics Feb Wrestling
The executive board of the International Olympic Committee has decided to remove Wrestling from the 2020 Olympic Games. The World Wrestling Body and several international wrestlers have expressed their dissent at the decision. The decision came as a shock to India, which hoped to increase its medal count in the 2020 Olympics. Indias wrestling brigade had performed brilliantly in the 2012 London Olympics, with Indian wrestlers Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt winning a silver and bronze medal respectively.

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06 Subra Suresh to head Carnegie Mellon University Feb US

Subra Suresh was announced as the new president of Carnegie Mellon University, replacing Jared L Cohon who had been on the role for 16 years. Prior to this, Suresh was the director of the National Science Foundation, an independent US government science agency charged with advancing all fields of fundamental science, engineering research and education. Suresh, a native of Chennai, had been nominated in 2010 to be the NSF director by President Barack Obama. Suresh will be the 9th President in CMUs 113-year old history. Earlier, Suresh had also served as the dean of the School of Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

12 North Korea conducts third nuclear test Feb North Korea

North Korea confirmed on 12th February that it had conducted a successful third underground nuclear test. The test was reported to have taken place at a test site in the North Hamgyeong province, where the Punggyeri nuclear complex that conducted tests in 2006 and 2009 is located. The tests are aimed at perfecting North Koreas aim of building nuclear warheads, small enough to be placed on long-range missiles. The test was heavily condemned by the United Nations and also by neighbouring South Korea and Japan, with Japan saying that it was considering imposing unilateral sanctions on the North. China, which is North Koreas biggest ally and its only source of financial and food aid, expressed strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition to the test and demanded to the North Korean Ambassador that his country cease making further threats. However, China, views North Korea as a crucial strategic buffer against the U.S. and its allies in the region, and has, till now, shown no signs of rethinking its close strategic ties.

15 Pakistan tests another nuclear-capable missile Feb Pakistan

Pakistan has successfully test fired the Short Range Surface to Surface Ballistic Missile Hatf II (Abdali), as part of the process of validation of land based ballistic missile systems. Hatf II with a range of 180 km, can carry nuclear as well as conventional warheads with high accuracy. The missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads for delivery over short ranges is said to possess shoot and scoot attributes, which refer to the military tactic of firing at a target with accuracy and immediately relocating to another position to avoid counter-fire from enemy positions. It was the second missile test by Pakistan in a week.

22 Europes horse meat scandal spreads to Asia Feb Horse Meat Scandal

The horse-meat scandal of Europe spread to Asia with Hong Kong Authorities asking ParknShop, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Hong Kong to remove lasagne made by frozen food giant Findus, one of the firms at the centre of the European Horse Meat scandal. The product was imported from Britain and made by French firm Comigel. Hong Kong's Centre for Food Safety said on Wednesday that the item might be adulterated with horse meat which has not undergone tests for veterinary drugs. Background: Page 20 of 21

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The 2013 horse meat adulteration scandal is ongoing in Europe. Foods sold as containing beef were found to contain undeclared horse meat, as much as 100% of the meat content in some cases. The issue came to light on 15 January 2013, when it was reported that horse DNA had been discovered in frozen beef burgers sold in several Irish and British supermarkets. While horsemeat is not harmful to health and is eaten in many countries, it is considered a taboo food in many countries including the UK and Ireland, in addition to being a lower-cost ingredient than beef.

26 Rajat Gupta ordered to pay Goldman Sachs $6.2 million for legal fees Feb Insider Trading

Rajat Gupta, a former Goldman Sachs board member has been ordered by a New York Court to pay $ 6.2 million for legal fees incurred by Goldman Sachs during his trial, in which he was convicted for insider trading. Rajat Gupta was convicted last June, of revealing boardroom trading secrets to his friend Raj Rajaratnam, the former Galleon hedge fund tycoon who was earlier sentenced to 11 years in prison for insider trading. Currently, Gupta is free on bail while appealing his two-year prison sentence. In addition to his spot on the Goldman Sachs board, Gupta had been head of the renowned consultancy McKinsey & Co, and a director of Procter & Gamble making him one of the most successful Indian Immigrants in the United States.

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Starred Articles
01 Bangladesh War Crimes accused sentenced to death, violent protests kill 44 Mar people World > Bangladesh Riots
A special war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh has sentenced Jamaat-e-Islami top policy maker Delwar Hossain Sayedee to death after he was found guilty of eight counts out of 20 involving mass killings, rape and atrocities during the nine-month war against Pakistan. The sentence sparked off violent protests between Jamaat-eIslami supporters and police which led to the death of more than 44 people. The Jamaat and its students wing, Islami Chatra Shibir, had called for a two-day nationwide strike from March 3. Meanwhile, the young activists, who had called for the February Shabagh protests demanding death penalty to Jamaat leaders, have vowed to resist the strike. Militant activists of the Jamaat attacked temples and houses belonging to Hindus at Noakhalis Begumganj. The police retaliated with tear gas and rubber bullets and had to open fire in some places to control the situation. Opposition Khaleda Zias party has questioned the conduct of the trial saying that it was a politically motivated move to destroy the opposition. International Human Rights Organizations have also questioned the fairness of the trial after the disappearance of a witness for Sayedee. Background: Sheikh Hasina's government initiated the special war crimes tribunal in 2010. Two Jamat leaders had been convicted earlier and several top leaders of Jamaat are on trial for their alleged role in the atrocities during the war. Jamaat-e-Islami, the largest Islamic party in Muslim-majority Bangladesh, had campaigned against the 1971 independence war, but it denies committing any atrocities. Jamaat is a key ally of the country's largest opposition party, the Bangladesh Nationalist party, led by the former premier Khaleda Zia and was a partner in her government from 2001 to 2006.

03 US Government orders broad cuts in US Government spending Mar Economy > Budget Sequestration

US President Barack Obama formally announced budget sequestration after he and fellow congressional Republicans failed to reach a deal to avert automatic reductions that could dampen economic growth and defence spending. The US federal government is reducing spending by $1.2 trillion over the next nine years, including $85 billion over the final seven months of this fiscal year. The area most affected is called discretionary spending, which requires an annual appropriation bill and is typically set by the House and Senate Appropriations Committees. It includes defense spending and non-defense discretionary spending such as cabinet departments and agencies. There will be a decrease of $42.7 billion in defense spending outlays and $28.7 billion in non-defense spending outlays for 2013. The sequestration also affects certain mandatory spending. Mandatory spending represents outlays to qualified program participants and does not have to be renewed annually. Major categories of mandatory spending include Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. The latter two programs are not in the scope of the sequestration. However, Medicare and other mandatory spending totaling $47 billion would also be reduced during the 2013-2022 period. The automatic budget reductions will cause a 0.6 percentage-point reduction in U.S. economic growth in 2013. Background:

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Budget Sequestration is an U.S. legal procedure in which automatic spending cuts are triggered. The law requires that each program, project or activity at every federal agency be cut an equal percentage; though the definitions of these terms may vary across agencies. Republicans rejected the Democrats call for additional higher taxes for top earners. On the other hand, Senate Republicans proposal would have kept the $85 billion in cuts this year while requiring Obama to submit a proposal by March 15 on how to allocate them. Both plans failed to advance in the Democrat-controlled Senate last week which led to the budget sequestration.

04 Child born with HIV cured for the first time Mar Science and Technology > HIV

A baby girl born in Mississippi infected with the HIV virus has been cured after early treatment with standard HIV drugs. This is the first instance where a child has been remitted of the disease completely without the need for regular drugs and standard blood tests showed no signs of the virus making copies of itself. This path breaking case could offer insights on how to eradicate the HIV virus among new-born children.

04 Narendra Modis keynote address at the Wharton Economic Forum Mar scrapped World > Wharton Economic Forum
The Wharton India Economic Forum revoked its decision to invite Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi to deliver a key note address after three Indian-American professors from the University of Pennsylvania sent a petition signed by more than 250 people against inviting Modi to the forum. Modi was invited by the Forum to deliver the keynote address at its annual conference on March 23 via video conference. The three professors and some students who signed the petition said that Modis political model is flawed and based on serious flouting of human rights. Immediately after Modis address was called off, Shiv Sena leader Suresh Prabhu and Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, both of whom are known to be close to Narendra Modi, opted out of the programme. However, it was officially conveyed by the Adani group that Gautam Adani wont be attending the programme as he has other prior commitments.

05 Bhabha Atomic Research centre to design worlds largest magnet Mar Science and Technology > BARC

The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre is designing the worlds largest magnet weighing 50,000 tonnes and slated to be several times bigger than the one at the Compact Muon Solenoid detector at CERN, Geneva. The massive magnet will play a major role in the Rs 1,500-crore India-based Neutrino Observatory coming up 4,300 feet below a cave in a mountain not far from Madurai in Tamil Nadu.

06 Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez dies at 58 Mar World > Venezuela

Hugo Chavez, the president of Venezuela died on Tuesday, the 6th of March after a prolonged period of cancer. Chavezs election to the Presidency in 1999 ushered in a new era of Venezuelan politics and its international relations. Chavez was a socialist and his presidential rule of 14 years made him popular among the poor of the country but a hate figure for the opposition. Chavezs first major foray into national politics happened when he led the Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement or MBR-200 in 1982. On February 4, 1992, Chavez led a failed military rebellion against then president Carlos Andres Perez. Chavez served two years in Page 2 of 21

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prison before then President Rafael Caldera granted him amnesty. Chavez went on to form a new political party, the Fifth Republic Movement, which carried him to a presidential election victory in 1998. Chavez was a strong critic of the US calling them Imperialist and was a major ally of socialist countries. He accused the United States of fuelling his overthrow. His fiery campaign speeches blamed the traditional parties for corruption and poverty. Chavez wanted to make Venezuela, a major oil producer, into a socialist state in his Bolivarian Revolution, which took its name from Chavez's idol, Simon Bolivar, who won independence for many South American countries in the early 1800s. Chavez redirected much of the country's vast oil wealth, which increased to a great extent during his tenure, to massive social programs for the country's poor. He authorized the state owned oil department to pay millions for programs that seek to eradicate illiteracy, provide affordable food staples and grant access to higher education, among other things. His detractors accused him of being authoritarian, populist and even dictatorial for having pushed through a constitutional reform that allowed indefinite re-election. Chavez was also criticized for turning former independent institutions such as the judiciary, the electoral authorities and the military into partisan loyalists and concentrating all power in the hands of the executive branch. Chavezs government has also been accused of barring political opponents from running in elections and passing laws and decrees that curbed the freedom of opposition broadcasters and forced them off the air. Chavezs death was deeply mourned by regional and international allies such as Ecuador, Cuba, Iran and China. Cuba loses a benefactor in Chavez, whose provision of an oil lifeline at below-market prices could be at risk under a new government. Elections will be held in 30 days, and Vice President Nicolas Maduro, whom Chavez had referred to as his preferred successor in a previous address, will assume the presidency in the interim. A controversy has surged up following Chavezs death when Maduro said that scientific proof would prove that Chavezs cancer had been injected by imperialist forces. Venezuelan authorities have said that they will set up an enquiry to investigate Chavezs death. Chavez had made the assertion himself in 2011, saying at a military event that he wondered whether the United States could be infecting Latin American leaders with the illness.

07 Air Asia- Tata budget airline deal receives approval from the Indian Government Mar India > Aviation
A bid by Malaysian carrier Air Asia to start a budget airline in India in a joint venture with the Tatas has got approval from the Indias Foreign Investment Promotion Board. It would be the first foreign company to foray into the Indian aviation scenario. India's aviation industry, which has suffered major losses, was opened to foreign investment last year. Foreign companies are now allowed to own up to 49% of a local airline. Air Asia, which is Asia's largest low-cost carrier, will make an initial investment of 800million rupees and will own 49% of the new airline, while Tata Sons will have a 30% stake. Arun Bhatia, the owner of investment firm Telestra Tradeplace, will have the remaining share. Air Asia already operates flights into Indian cities including Bangalore, Kochi and Chennai.

12 Roman Catholic Cardinals begin conclave to elect the 266th Pope Mar World > Pope Election

115 Cardinal electors, under the age of 80, have gathered in the Vatican to elect the new Pope to take over as head of Roman Catholic Church after Pope Benedict abdicated last month. The cardinals will start their meeting at the Sistine Chapel behind closed doors and cast their first vote on Tuesday, 12th Of March. From Wednesday, they will vote twice each morning and twice each afternoon. The cardinals will suspend voting on Saturday if they have not chosen a pontiff by then. A candidate needs a two-thirds majority or at least 77 votes in order to win. The person chosen as Pope does not have to be one of the cardinal electors, but in practice Page 3 of 21

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now always is. Two eligible cardinals are not taking part in the electoral process, one because of health reasons and the other because of his involvement in a sex scandal. The elector cardinals come from 48 countries, with 28 out of the 115 cardinals, from Italy. After cardinals cast their votes on paper, the ballots are burned and smoke pours from a makeshift chimney above the Sistine Chapel. Black smoke marks an inconclusive vote while white smoke and the tolling of the bells of St. Peters Basilica means a Pope has been elected. When the Pope is chosen, a senior cardinal appears on the balcony of St. Peters Basilica and announces the new Pope by his given name, with his first name translated into its Latin version and then announces the papal name the new leader of the Church has chosen. The papal names most often chosen have been John (23 times), Gregory (16), Benedict (16), Clement (14), Innocent (13), Leo (13) and Pius (12). The focus of the church, this time, will be to elect a Pope who can restore the image of the Church which had been tarnished by sexual abuse scandals worldwide and allegations of corruption at the Vatican Bank.

12 Italy refuses to send back two marines facing trial in fishermen killing case Mar India > Italy Marines

Italys refusal to send back its two marines who are facing trial in a fisherman killing case in India has sparked strong reaction from all quarters. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has asked External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to take up the matter diplomatically. The government has summoned the Italian Ambassador Daniele Mancini to lodge a strong complaint against Italys refusal to send back the two marines and the ambassador might face contempt of court since the ambassador had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court whereby he had taken full responsibility for the petitioners to proceed to Italy and ensure their return to India. Senior advocate and counsel for the Italian marines, Harish salve, indicated that he didnt support the Italian Governments decision not to send back the marines and termed the incident unacceptable. Background: The two marines, Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone, are facing trial for killing two fishermen off the Kerala coast in February 2012, mistaking them for pirates. Italy claims the incident occurred in international waters and has been trying to get Latorre and Girone tried in Italian courts, while India contends the shooting occurred in its own territory. The Supreme Court of India, in February, allowed Latorre and Girone to return to Italy to vote in the Feb 24-25 national election. It had earlier allowed them to go home for Christmas.

12 Japan extracts worlds first oceanic methane hydrates gas, hopes to resolve nations energy crisis Mar Science and Technology > Japan
Japan said that it had extracted gas from offshore deposits of methane hydrate sometimes called flammable ice. The gas extraction from an undersea hydrate reservoir, the worlds first, could be an alternative source of energy to known oil and gas reserves. This discovery of an alternative energy source could prove to be vital for Japan which is the worlds largest importer of liquefied natural gas. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear crisis has halted Japans nuclear energy program and caused a sharp increase in the countrys fossil fuel imports which has weakened the Japanese economy and led to a trade deficit. Methane Hydrates contain almost twice the carbon found in other fossil fuels and could change Japans energy crisis if successfully produced.

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13 US demands China stop the widespread theft of US cyber data and agree to cyberspace norms Mar acceptable World > US Cyber Theft
The US government demanded on Tuesday, 12th March that the Chinese government block the cyber-attacks on American corporations and some US government agencies. President Obamas national security adviser, Tom Donilon said the US is seeking three things from Beijing: public recognition of the urgency of the problem; a commitment to crack down on hackers in China; and an agreement to take part in a dialogue to establish global standards. This was the first public confrontation with China over cyber espionage and came two days after the Chinese foreign minister, Yang Jiechi, rejected growing evidence that his countrys military was involved in cyber-attacks on America. The New York Times, three weeks ago, published evidence tying one of the most active of the Chinese groups to a neighborhood in Shanghai that is headquarters to a major cyber unit of the Peoples Liberation Army. The chief of the US militarys newly created Cyber Command told Congress on Tuesday that he is establishing 13 teams of programmers and computer experts who could carry out offensive cyber-attacks on foreign nations if the United States were hit with a major attack on its own networks, the first time the Obama administration has publicly admitted to developing such weapons for use in wartime. However, a Chinese spokesperson said that China opposes Internet attacks and wants constructive dialogue with the United States and other countries about cyber security issues.

13 Naresh Goyal alters promoter stake for Etihad Deal valuing Jet Airways at $1.2 billion Mar India > Aviation
Jet Airways boss Naresh Goyal is putting a multi-phase structured deal that will allow Etihad airways to buy a substantial stake in Jet Airways valuing the Indian carrier at 1.2 billion. The structuring will also see Goyal and Etihad jointly hold 75% in the listed carrier, complying with SEBIs new public shareholding norms. Jet is 80% held by Tail Winds, an overseas corporate body (OCB) incorporated in the Isle of Man, while Goyal and his wife directly own just about 11,000 shares or 0.01%. An OCB is an entity in which at least 60% is owned by a nonresident Indian (NRI). Though OCBs are currently not clubbed as part of FDI, the government had granted a special dispensation to Goyal in the nineties. Goyal is considering transferring whole or part of 6.9 crore Jet Airways shares from Tail Winds to a company, owned by Goyal directly and which will be the new holding company of Jet Airways. In the second phase of the deal, Goyal will sell 11% of Jet Airways through an Offer for sale (OFS) to comply with SEBIs new norms that cap promoter holding at 75%. After the OFS, Etihad through a fresh issue of shares will acquire a significant stake in Jet. The fresh issue of shares to Etihad will also help Jet to reduce its debt.

14 Argentine Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio elected as the 266th Pope > Papal Election Mar World Argentinas George Mario Bergoglio has been elected as the 266th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, taking
the name of Francis. The 76-year-old from Buenos Aires is the first Latin American and the first Jesuit to be pontiff. Pope Francis replaces Benedict XVI, who resigned last month at the age of 85, saying he was not strong enough to lead the Church. Pope Francis assumes responsibility at a time of turmoil in the church and hell be facing an array of challenges including restoration of the Churchs image which has been tarnished by sexual abuse scandals worldwide and allegations of fraud at the Vatican Bank. Page 5 of 21

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14 Sundar Pichai to replace Andy Rubin as head of Googles Android division and Technology > Google Mar Science Google announced that Andy Rubin, who was heading the companys Android division, will be replaced by
Sundar Pichai. Pichai joined Google in 2004 and currently heads the Chrome and Apps division of Google. With this transition, Pichai will be leading both Chrome and the Android division of Google. Sundar, originally from Tamil Nadu India, is a topper from IIT Kharagpur and a silver medal winner for excellence in academics at IIT Kharagpur. He holds an M.S. from Stanford University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Google CEO Larry Page said that Sundar will do a tremendous job managing Android as he has a talent for creating products that are technically excellent yet easy to use and gave the example of Chrome, which has now become one of the most widely used browsers because of its speed, simplicity and security.

15 Li Keqiang becomes new Chinese premier, XI Jinping named as Chinese Mar president Politics and Government > Chinese Elections
The annual parliament session of China, the National Peoples Congress, confirmed Li Keqiang as the new Chinese Premier on Friday, March 15th, replacing former Premier Wen Jiabao. Xi Jinping who had been named the Communist Partys General Secretary last November and was handed the leadership of the Central Military Commission has been made the new President. Mr. Li has been elected for a 5 year term but, like his predecessor, would be expected to spend a decade in office. Lis appointment as the Chinese Premier was confirmed by 3000 Legislators at the National Peoples Congress. He received 2,940 votes to three, with six abstentions. As premier, he will oversee a large portfolio of domestic affairs, managing Chinas economic challenges, environmental problems and the countrys urbanization drive. The son of a local official in Chinas Anhui province, Li rose through the party ranks through the Communist Youth League. Li became Chinas youngest provincial governor by assuming responsibility of Henan province and from 1998-2004 served as the governor of the province, and the provinces party secretary and then the Liaoning party secretary which made him first-in-charge in that province. A PhD in Economics, Li is a leading figure of the "fifth generation" (Xi-Li Administration) of Communist Party leadership and from 2008 to 2013, served as the Executive Vice-Premier under then-Premier Wen Jiabao. Li Keqiang has already taken a new approach by eliminating some ministries and increasing the size of others paving the way for a more streamlined government.

19 DMK pulls out of UPA government over the issue of war crimes on Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka Mar Politics and Government > UPA
DMK has pulled out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) over the issue of alleged war crimes on the Eelam Tamils in Sri Lanka. DMK had demanded that the government should adopt a resolution in Parliament supporting two amendments to the U.S. sponsored draft resolution against Sri Lanka in the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The first amendment should state that genocide and war crimes had been committed on Eelam Tamils by the Sri Lankan Army and administrators and a second amendment for the constitution of a credible, independent international commission of inquiry into the allegation of war crimes in the draft resolution. DMK chief Karunanidhi said that continuing in the UPA government would be an injustice to Tamils as the government was not adopting the resolution in Parliament and taking a tough stance on the Sri Lankan government. He also ruled out giving outside legislative support to the UPA.

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Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu government has shut down 525 engineering colleges affiliated to Anna University indefinitely following massive protests by students across the state against human rights violations in Sri Lanka. Students have also been told to vacate the college hostels. Students said the governments decision to shut colleges was aimed at dispelling the protests. The Tamil film industry has also united for the cause in a one-day fast.

19 Reserve Bank cuts REPO rate by 25 basis points, lending rates might remain unchanged Mar Economy > Reserve Bank of India
The Reserve bank of India (RBI) has reduced the repo rate under the liquidity adjustment facility (LAF) by 25 basis points from 7.75% to 7.5% and has left the cash reserve ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4%. REPO rate is the rate at which banks borrow from RBI and CRR is the portion of deposits that banks have to mandatorily maintain with the central bank. RBI has reduced the REPO rate a 2nd time this year but has warned that there is very little scope for another reduction. However, with the reduction of the REPO rate, a reduction in lending rates by banks seems unlikely since the RBI had not reduced the CRR which could have helped banks to bring down their cost of funds. RBI said that although financial market conditions have improved since the third quarter policy review in January, global economic activity has weakened and domestic growth has decelerated.

20 Cypruss Parliament rejects EU-IMF bailout tax on bank deposits, sparks fears of similar scenario in other debt-ridden EU nations Mar Economy > Cyprus Bailout
Cypruss Parliament rejected a proposal on 19th March for levying taxes on bank deposits as a condition for a EU bailout aimed at saving Cyprus from bankruptcy. The rejection of the proposal by Cyprus came as a surprise for the 17-nation Eurozone, since lawmakers in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Spain and Italy had accepted unpopular austerity measures in the past to secure European aid. Under the bailout deal reached at the weekend, the troika of the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund were to provide Cyprus with 10 billion euros ($13 billion) on condition the island raises another 5.8 billion euros by imposing a tax of 9.9 percent on all Cyprus bank deposits, a move that has triggered outrage among the common people and MPs in Cyprus. The Cypriot government backtracked, and on Tuesday dropped the proposed tax on savings below 20,000, while keeping it at 6.75 percent for deposits of 20,000-100,000 euros and 9.9 percent for those above 100,000. But this move of the Cypriot government too was rejected in the Cyprus Parliament in a vote, plunging the Eurozone into uncertainty and leaving Cyprus looking for alternative sources of financing. The Cyprus bailout crisis also triggered fears that the EU might try to impose similar conditions on other debt-ridden countries like Spain and Italy. This would aggravate an already bad economic scenario in these countries as it would increase bank shortfalls since savers would resort to fewer deposits, which would mean a worse deposit-to-liability ratio. This might lead to a continent-wide crisis of the kind observers have feared since the euro zone started its slow-motion collapse back in 2009.

21 Obama visits Middle East, stresses on key diplomatic issues > US-Middle East Relations Mar World President Barack Obamas March 2013 visit to the Middle East was successful in many aspects.
Reconciling Israel Turkey Relations: He got an end to the bitter 3 year conflict between the USs most important allies in the Middle East. Obama got Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to talk to the Page 7 of 21

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Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and apologize for deadly errors in Israels 2010 raid on a Turkish ship that was trying to bring aid to Palestinians in Gaza. Change in Stance on Talks: While Obama criticized the Israeli governments controversial policy of building new settlements in disputed territories and urged young Israelis to pressure their leaders to seek peace with Palestinians he also pushed the Palestinians to resume talks. Jordan: The US will provide an additional $200 million in aid to help Jordan with the burden of caring for 460,000 Syrian refugees who have taken shelter in the country. Syria: Obama reiterated his refusal to give US military assistance to the Syrian opposition movement but said that the use of chemical weapons, if proved, could prove to be a big game changer. This was in the context of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria on a village near Aleppo which killed 25 people and injured many. It was unclear as to who was responsible for the chemical attack, the Syrian government or the armed opposition.

21 Lockheed Martin to upgrade D-Waves Quantum computer on a commercial scale Mar Science and Technology > Quantum Computing
Lockheed Martin, a major American military contractor, is taking commercial computing to the next level by planning to use a quantum computer, as part of its business. Quantum computing which involves quantum mechanics is a huge diversion from traditional computing. Though D-Wave has still not proved to outside scientists about its mastery over the myriad problems associated with quantum computing, the design, if it performs perfectly could be used to supercharge even the most powerful systems, solving some science and business problems millions of times faster than can be done today. Lockheed would use the quantum computer to create and test complex radar, space and aircraft systems. D-Waves quantum computers could find their use in many other applications. Cancer researchers could rapidly analyze vast amounts of genetic data. The technology could also be used to determine the behaviour of proteins in the human genome. Researchers at Google have worked with D-Wave on using quantum computers to recognize cars and landmarks, a critical step in managing self-driving vehicles.

21 Supreme Court sentences Sanjay Dutt to 5 years in prison for his connection with the 1993 Mumbai blasts Mar India > Sanjay Dutt
The Supreme Court has ruled that Sanjay Dutt must return to prison to serve another three and a half year sentence, the remaining of his total sentence of five years. In 2006, a special anti-terror court had convicted 100 people for the blasts. 12 of the convicts were given death penalty and 20 others were given life sentence. Dutt was convicted of buying weapons from underworld don Dawood Ibrahims aide Abu Salem and others convicted of the 1993 bombings in Mumbai. He spent 20 months in jail. The actor has been on bail since 2007 when he appealed against his original sentence of six years. On 21st March, Thursday, the Supreme Court reduced his sentence to five years. The Supreme Court also upheld the death sentence of Yakub Memon, one of the main convicts, while death sentences of 10 others were commuted to life. Dutt, originally charged with criminal conspiracy and possession of illegal weapons, was found guilty of illegally possessing a rifle and a pistol but cleared of conspiracy. Dutt had previously said in his defence that the weapons were necessary in order to defend his family during the Hindu-Muslim rioting of 1993 which happened in the aftermath of the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya by Hindu zealots. There is nearly 100 crores worth of films pending in Page 8 of 21

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Bollywood on Dutts name and the Bollywood fraternity has expressed shock at the Supreme Courts verdict. The court has asked Dutt to surrender in 4 weeks.

22 Cyprus secures bailout to avoid bankruptcy Mar Economy > Cyprus Bailout

Cyprus secured a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) package of rescue loans, saving the country from a banking system collapse and bankruptcy that could have destabilized the entire Eurozone. In return for the bailout, Cyprus must drastically shrink its outsized banking sector, cut its budget, implement structural reforms and privatize state assets, he said. Under the plan, Cyprus' second-largest bank, Laiki, will be restructured and holders of bank deposits of more than 100,000 euros there will have to take losses. The measures are likely to deepen the recession in Cyprus and lead to more job losses. Earlier, the European Central Bank (ECB) threatened to cut off crucial emergency assistance to the country's banks if no agreement was reached which forced Cyprus to agree to the Eurozones bailout plan after 10 hours of negotiations in Brussels between Cypriot officials and the troika of creditors involving the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission and the ECB.

22 Italian marines come back to face trial in India and Government > Italian Marines Mar Politics In a major breakthrough, the Italian government has reversed its earlier decision and sent back the two
marines facing trial for the murder of two fishermen off the Kerala coast. Earlier, diplomatic tensions had escalated between the two countries and the Supreme Court had said that the Italian Ambassador could not leave the country and might face contempt of court. The Italian authorities reversed their earlier stance after the Indian government assured them that the two marines would not be facing death penalty and their fundamental rights would be protected. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh welcomed the Italian Governments decision and said that the integrity and dignity of the Indian judiciary had been upheld.

23 Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Committee (FSLRC) calls for 2-regulator Mar structure Economy > Financial Regulators
The Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Committee (FSLRC) has called for unifying the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority (PFRDA), Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) and Forward Markets Commission (FMC) into a single regulator. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) should remain the monetary authority regulating banks. The proposed regulatory structure will be governed by the Financial Regulatory Architecture Act that will ensure a uniform legal process for the financial regulators. The finance ministry will unify the regulatory structure before modifying the legislative structure. The committee has also recommended that the financial sector laws be reviewed every 10 years and appropriate attention be given to debt management and setting up of a financial redressal agency and a financial stability and development council. The report has also proposed doing away with multiple agency structure for foreign capital inflows and converting the Securities and Appellate Tribunal into a Financial Appellate Tribunal, which will hear appeals against both RBI and the unified regulator.

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27 Major depositors in Cyprus banks face losses, extensive controls imposed on movement of capital Mar Economy > Cyprus Bankruptcy
Cypruss central bank has confirmed that major depositors will lose 60 percent of savings over 100,000 Euros. The bank would give depositors shares worth just 37.5 percent of savings over 100,000 euros. The rest of such holdings might never be paid back. The assets of Laiki, Cypruss second largest bank will be transferred to Bank of Cyprus. At Bank of Cyprus, about 22.5 percent of deposits over 100,000 euros will attract no interest. The remaining 40 percent will continue to attract interest, but will not be repaid unless the bank does well. Capital controls were also imposed on the Euro, the first time since it was launched a decade ago. Cypriots and foreigners are allowed to take only up to 1,000 euros in cash when they leave the island. The imposition of capital controls is seen as an unwelcome measure for the European Union founded on the principle of free movement of capital and payments. The capital controls might pave the way for a second class Cyprus Euro with funds trapped within the country less valuable than euros that can be freely spent abroad as well as partial breakup of the Eurozone with a euro held in Cyprus no longer worth the same as a euro held in Germany.

Bank Specific
15 Finance Ministry and RBI investigating accusations of money laundering against ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank Mar Banking Fraud
The Finance Ministry and RBI are investigating money laundering accusations against top private sector lenders ICICI, HDFC and Axis bank after an independent journalist alleged that he had video footage of the lenders branch employees suggesting to an undercover reporter methods to launder money. ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank and Axis Bank have initiated their own investigations but have strongly defended their internal controls to prevent money laundering. ICICI Bank has already suspended 18 officials pending investigations and Axis Bank and HDFC Bank have hired an independent audit firm to conduct a forensic inquiry into the allegations.

22 ICICI, HDFC offer immunity to staff who expose unfair practices Mar Bank News

Although the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has dismissed money laundering allegations made about ICICI and HDFC banks by a sting operation, chief executives at these banks have offered to provide immunity to staff who expose wrongdoings and violation of guidelines by colleagues. Managing Directors of HDFC, ICICI and Axis banks have said that there would be zero tolerance for money laundering activities by bank staff. A review of the relevant systems and processes and an audit of some of the branches and the corresponding back-end processes at each of the three banks is also being undertaken.

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12 Oil and Gas likely to contribute Wipro Rs. 5,400 crore in annual revenue Mar Wipro
The energy and utilities sector which, usually, is not a big contributor for the IT sector, is likely to contribute $ 1 billion (Rs. 5,400 crore) to IT services provider, Wipro in annual revenue. In April 2011, Wipro had acquired the oil and gas practice of US-based Scientific Applications International Corp (SAIC) for about $150 million and this has made Wipros energy and utilities vertical, the fastest growing business unit after it contributed about $900 million or 15% of total sales. In the three months to Dec 31, the unit had grown 18% compared to a year ago, 3 times faster than any business unit in Wipro. A major shift in the energy industry from crude oil to shale gas and the acquisition of SAIC has helped Wipro expand its presence to the US. Beyond basic IT support services, Wipro now works with oil companies to analyze the large amount of data generated by sensitive sonar probes sent to oil wells to generate intelligence on the presence of oil or gas. Wipro currently has BP and Royal Dutch Shell as its clients which are among the worlds second and third largest oil companies.

12 Reliance Big Entertainment buys gaming companies in japan and Korea Mar Mergers and Acquisitions

Reliance Big Entertainment has acquired two major gaming companies In Japan and Korea, which are two of the worlds top five mobile gaming markets. While the Korean mobile gaming market is estimated at about $1 billion, the Japanese gaming market size is about $5.5 billion. Reliance Big Entertainment has acquired a 100% stake in the gaming division of Funnel Japan along with its team and all the games under development. It has created a wholly owned subsidiary Reliance Big Entertainment Japan Co Ltd, in the region with the buyout. It has also acquired a 51% stake in Busan, Korea-based gaming studio Bluesom Inc, which will develop games for both Japan and Korean markets. Both acquisitions are at an estimated consideration of under $5 million (about 27 crore). In India, Reliance Entertainment Digital operates its mobile gaming business under the brand Zapak. Reliance said that with the present acquisitions and expected acquisitions in China and Taiwan over the next 12 months, it aims to be among the top 10 leaders in the international gaming markets of the US, UK, China, Japan and Korea.

19 Italian Fashion Group Benettons annual retail sales crossed Rs. 1,000 crore India Mar in Benetton
Italian fashion group Benetton's annual retail sales have crossed Rs 1,000 crore in India, making it the first international fashion brand to cross that mark in India. Benetton had grown rapidly since it snapped a local joint venture with DCM, nine years ago. At that time Benetton had sales of only about $8 million as compared to figures of more than $200 million now. India now accounts for about 8% of Benetton's $2.5 billion global sales, making it the largest market for Benetton outside Europe. Benetton chairman Alessandro Benetton said that Benettons strength lies in combining global fashion with local sensibilities. At present, the group controls prices by sourcing 96% of sales locally, and has left behind rivals like Levi's (Rs 800cr) and Marks & Spencer (Rs 550cr). Benetton will likely face tough competition from global rivals as more and more foreign retailers are attracted to India since FDI norms now allow single-brand retailers to own 100 percent of the store operations. Benetton will now move into tier-III and tier-IV towns like Dimapur, Bhavnagar and Kota. Benetton owns only 10% of its 500-odd exclusive stores in the country and has sold most of its full - owned stores to franchisees. Page 11 of 21

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21 Infosys, TCS compete for Rs. 200 crore Corporation bank contract Mar Software Industry

Infosys and TCS are competing to acquire the Rs. 200 crore technology services contract from public sector lender Corporation Bank (CorpBank). The contract is for upgrading the bank's core banking software from the current version made by Chennai-based software company Polaris Financial Technology. TCS and Infosys both have their own core banking software called Bancs and Finacle respectively. With 1.6 crore customers and 1,600 branches, Mangalore-based Corporation Bank has been among the first public sector banks to adopt CBS technology around 2003. The bank expects its customer base to grow to 5.8 crore by 2020 and its network to expand to 3,500 branches during the same period. Compared to TCS which gets a major chunk of its business from the domestic market, Infosys has only about 2% of its $7 billion revenues from the domestic market. For TCS, India market contributes about 7.5% of its $10.8 billion sales.

23 Department of telecommunications rejects Bharti Airtel, Vodafones Mar applications for license renewal
The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has rejected the applications of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone for renewal of their licenses in circles like Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata when they expire in November this year. The DOT said that on expiry of the license, only a new unified license would be given to operators while spectrum would have to be obtained through a market-related process. The licenses of Bharti are coming up for renewal in November for Delhi and Kolkata, while Vodafone's due for the Mumbai circle. The DoT had asked companies like Bharti and Vodafone to participate in the auctions which were slated for March 11, to procure spectrum, but they did not participate in the process. Both companies hold the 900-MHz spectrum in these circles, which the government wanted to refarm from them and put up for auction at a base price that was double of the 1,800-MHz spectrum band. The companies had protested against this move of the DOT and moved the Delhi High Court.

23 Maruti aims to expand its utility Vehicles segment to increase market share Mar Maruti

Following on the success of its latest offering Ertiga MPV, which has become the country's largest selling model in the UV space, Maruti Suzuki is planning to launch new cars in the fast moving utility vehicles space to expand its market share in India. Maruti Suzuki, which is one of the leading players in the small car segment, said that competition in the hatchback segment has intensified and the company, in order to increase or maintain the market share plans to expand its UV offering. Maruti has consistently witnessed a demand for diesel models such as Swift, DZire and Ertiga. As per Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers data, car sales in the country declined 4.64% to 17.14 lakh units in the April-February period while sales of utility vehicles grew 55% to 4.99 lakh units from 3.23 lakh units of the last fiscal.

26 Yahoo to buy start up run by 17-year old entrepreneur Mar Yahoo

Yahoo announced that it would buy London based 17-year old entrepreneur Nick D'Aloisios start-up Summly, the maker of a mobile app for reading content on the small screen of smartphones. The mobile application condenses content so readers can scroll through more information more quickly. The deal is Yahoos fifth small acquisition in the past five months and is part of CEO Marissa Mayer's effort to attract more engineers with Page 12 of 21

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expertise in building services for smartphones and tablet computers, an important technological area, which she felt Yahoo had been neglecting until now.

26 Ericsson sues Micromax for patent infringement, claims about Rs 100 crore in damages Mar Ericsson
Ericsson, the worlds largest mobile network infrastructure player has moved the Delhi High Court against mobile handset manufacturer Micromax Ltd. for patent infringement claiming about Rs. 100 crore in damages. Ericsson alleged that Micromax has refused to enter into a licensing agreement covering its patented innovations across several wireless technology standards such as GSM, EDGE and 3G. If the Delhi High Court upholds Ericssons claim, it might significantly undermine the low-cost business strategy of several domestic handset and tablet companies. The claimed damages make it the largest patent suit in India's IT and telecom space. Despite exiting the handset space, Ericsson continues to be among the biggest patent-holders in the mobile phone industry along with Nokia, Qualcomm and Samsung.

26 Foxconn posts record quarterly profit on growing demand for Apple products Mar Foxconn
Taiwanese firm, Foxconn Technology has posted record quarterly profits of $ 1.2 billion in the October to December quarter helped by growing demand for iPhones and iPads. Foxconn is the world's biggest contract electronics maker and Apple is one of its biggest clients. Orders from Apple account for almost half of Foxconn's total revenue. In the October to December quarter, Apple had sold 47.8 million iPhones, up from 37 million a year earlier. Meanwhile, the launch of iPad mini, also boosted sales of its tablet PCs - it sold 22.9 million iPads, compared with 15.4 million in the same period in 2011.

27 Prudential fined $30m over its bid to buy AIA Mar Prudential

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined Insurance major Prudential $30 million over its 2010 bid to buy AIA, an Asian subsidiary of US insurer AIG. The FSA has also censured Tidjane Thiam, Prudential's chief executive. FSA said that Prudential had failed to inform it of its plans to buy AIA and FSA should have had more time to decide on whether to approve the deal or not on regulatory grounds since Prudential's proposed 14.5bn rights issue to fund the purchase would have significantly changed the company's risk profile and might have impacted upon the stability and confidence of the financial system in the UK and abroad. Prudential eventually failed in its $35.5bn (23bn) attempt to buy AIA after shareholders vetoed the deal, fearing the purchase price was too high. The incomplete deal cost shareholders 377m.

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12 Delhi Gang Rape case main accused Ram Singh found hanging in Tihar Jail Mar Delhi Gang Rape Case
Ram Singh, the main accused in the Delhi Gang Rape case, was found dead, hanging from a grill in the ceiling in his cell in Tihar Jail on Monday morning, hours before he was supposed to appear in Saket court for the incamera trial proceedings. The death which appears to be a case of suicide has raised questions about Tihars security arrangements. Both Singhs lawyer and family claimed that he had been murdered by his cell inmates. Questions rose on the suicide as it seemed impossible for Singh to reach the ceiling to tie the rope without waking up his 3 fellow inmates. A magisterial inquiry has been ordered and Tihar authorities have also begun an internal probe into the death. Meanwhile, the brother of the Delhi gang rape victim, who succumbed to injuries in December last year, has been promised a seat in Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) in Rae Bareli after the government expressed its inability to fulfill his first demand for admission to the National Defence Academy (NDA), Pune, on the ground that its admission rules do not allow for a student to be taken in on compassionate grounds.

13 Government to give 1200 crores to drought hit Maharashtra Mar Maharashtra Drought

The government has decided to give 1200 crores to Maharashtra to improve the drought scenario in the state. Maharashtra was hit by drought, the worst in four decades, after receiving lower rainfall during the monsoon season June to September 2012. There has been an acute shortage of drinking water. Nearly 12,000 villages in the state have been affected by drought and the state government has deployed nearly 2,500 tanker trucks to supply drinking water. Maharashtra is Indias biggest sugar and pulses producer and the second biggest producer of cotton and soybean and the drought will hamper the agricultural output of the state to a great extent in the present year.

18 60th National Film Awards declared Film Awards Mar National The Directorate of Film Festivals announced its annual National Film Awards to honor the best Indian films of
2012. Irrfan Khan won the Best Actor award for his powerful performance in Tigmanshu Dhulia's 'Paan Singh Tomar' and Marathi actress Usha Jadhav won the Best Actress award for Marathi film 'Dhag'. 'Paan Singh Tomar' also won the best Hindi feature film award. Shivaji Lotan Patil won the Best Director Award for Marathi film 'Dhar'. Vicky Donor and Ustad Hotel shared the award for best popular film for providing wholesome entertainment. Prasoon Joshi won the best lyricist award and Pt. Birju Maharaj won the best Choreography award. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Rituporno Ghosh were declared the joint winners for the Best Jury award. Bedabrata Pains Chittagong won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director. Chittagong also won the award for best song and Shankar Mahadevan won Best Playback Singer for Bolo Na from the same film.

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19 Chinas satellite deals with Sri Lanka, Maldives and Bangladesh raise security concerns In India Mar Chinese Satellite Deals
Chinas collaboration with neighbouring countries space related programmes has raised a concern in India with the possibility that China might be encircling India strategically with large communication networks. China is helping build a space academy and satellite ground station in Sri Lanka. A Sri Lankan firm has struck a deal with Chinese state-owned companies to launch Sri Lankas maiden telecom satellite. Maldives and Bangladesh are both in talks with China for building or launching satellites for them. The Indian department of space, ministries such as information technology, information & broadcasting, and external affairs, along with multiple intelligence agencies, are likely to examine the situation and formulate a plan of action to match Chinas space diplomacy.

19 B-school placements hit as hiring slows down Mar B-School Placements

The global economic slowdown seems to have affected the hiring scenario in B-schools this placement season. Many management students are left without job offers and the placement procedures are taking longer than usual. From the prestigious management institutes such as the IIMs to other top and mid-tier management institutes, everyone is facing the impact of the slow hiring season. B-schools like Great Lakes Institute of Management and Loyola institute of Business Management have called a lot more companies to campus this year in order to ensure 100 percent placements.

25 Government to set up tough real estate regulator Estate Mar Real The Ministry of housing is trying to introduce a tough real estate regulator Bill in the parliament, aimed at
protecting home buyers with provisions of even jail term for developers for putting out misleading advertisements about projects. . The legislation will clearly define 'carpet area', and private developers will not be allowed to sell houses or flats on the basis of ambiguous 'super built up area'. Private developers can give advertisements or start a housing project only after getting all projects registered before sale of property and after getting all necessary clearances from a real estate regulator. The developers will also have to maintain a separate bank account for a particular project and will not be allowed to divert the money for other projects. The Bill aims to address major concerns of buyers about incomplete or fraudulent land acquisition and delays and cost escalation. The Bill has faced tough opposition from private developers and builders and has been pending since 2009.

16 Mark Zuckerberg becomes highest rated CEO by employees Mar Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg topped Glassdoors list of the highest rated Chief Executive Officer (CEO) by employees. Zuckerberg got a 99% approval, a 14% jump over last year. Glassdoor, bases its rankings on anonymous reviews by employees. Comparatively, some of the most famous CEOs such as Google CEO Larry Page was ranked at No. 11 with 95%. Amazon's Jeff Bezos was No. 16 with 93%. Apple CEO Tim Cook came in at No. 18 Page 15 of 21

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with 93%. However, Glassdoor had not clearly revealed the methodology of the study or the number of people who had been surveyed.

19 Herbal Medicines behind kidney failure and bladder cancer in India and China Mar Herbal Medicines
Scientists from King's College London have found that many herbal medicines used for a wide range of conditions including slimming, asthma and arthritis are derived from a botanical compound containing Aristolochic acids. Researchers have found evidence to suggest that herbal medicines containing Aristolochic Acids are widely used in India, and if taken in sufficient amounts, can lead to Aristolochic Acid Nephropathy (AAN), a type of kidney failure and chronic kidney cancer. These products are now banned in the US and many European countries, but herbs containing these toxic acids can still be bought in China, India and other countries in Asia, and are also available worldwide over the internet. The study will help to raise awareness on the issue and India must exercise better regulation on herbal medicines and also assessment of patients with chronic kidney disease and kidney cancer for the presence of Aristolochic Acids.

19 IIM Ahmedabad Graduate Nirmal Kumar drives innovative auto rickshaw benefitting both auto drivers and commuters Mar business Placement Scenario
Nirmal Kumar, a 2008 IIM Ahmedabad has come up with an innovative auto rickshaw model that has benefitted commuters and auto drivers alike. Kumar manages a fleet of 10,000 autos In Gujarat under the brand name G Auto. When Kumar first started, he asked auto rickshaw drivers parked outside the IIM campus to give him in writing that they would charge proper fares in exchange for free newspapers and a health-cumpersonal insurance cover, for which he spent his own money. The idea gained success and now G auto has funding from some corporates in Gujarat as well as from government funds sanctioned by Chief Minister Narendra Modi. The autos also carry advertisements which help in generating a sizeable amount of the revenue. The drivers get benefits like subsidized health care and education for their wards, besides the insurance. The vehicles are fitted with GPS, which help in better monitoring of the vehicles and computerized meters which cannot be tweaked. Customers can request a G auto from a call centre or through a free mobile phone app. G Auto was voted second in the SMART Mobility Awards by the University of Michigan on transportation solutions. Recently, the union urban development secretary has written to all the states to emulate the model. Kumar recently met Delhi chief minister Sheila Dixit with expansion plans in Delhi. Kumar has formed a trust by the name of Nirmal Foundation which pays the salary of Kumar and 21 of his employees. Nirmal foundation also ensures that the auto rickshaw drivers get more trips with the help of the call centre facility to compensate for the low margins on wages.

Politics & Government

05 Former Maldives President Nasheed arrested by police Mar Indo-Maldives Relations
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Former Maldivian President Mohamed Nasheed was arrested by the Maldives police after a warrant was issued by a court in connection with his trial over the arrest and subsequent detention of a judge during his

GKCA Update 1st to 31st Mar

reign. The arrest came less than a fortnight after Nasheed left the Indian High Commission where he took refuge for 11 days to escape two arrest warrants issued by the court earlier. Nasheed had called it a politically motivated trial to bar him from contesting in the presidential election. He left the Indian High Commission on February 23 after India received assurances from Maldivian authorities that Nasheed would be free to campaign for Presidential elections. Nasheeds arrest is seen as a blow to the diplomatic efforts of the Indian government, which is seen as a regional power, to resolve the political standoff between the Maldives government and the ex-president. In December 2012, the Maldives government had taken over the Male Airport from Indias GMR consortium breaching the agreement inked by the previous government headed by Nasheed.

05 Rahul Gandhi says he doesnt want to marry and become a Status Quoist, in race for PMs job Mar nor Rahul Gandhi
Rahul Gandhi , in a rare conversation with Congress MPs and journalists, said that he didnt wish to get married and have children, because that would make him a Status Quoist and he would like his children to take his place. Rahul said that he did not want any vested interest in the status quo to destabilize his mission to democratize the party and decentralize its decision- making. He also said that he was not in the race for the Prime Ministers post, despite his recent appointment as the Congress Vice-President which is widely regarded by many as an essential precursor to become the partys prime ministerial candidate in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

07 Afghanistan demands blacklisting of ISI as a Terrorist entity Mar Afghan-Pak Relations

The Afghan national Security Council has strongly recommended that Pakistans Inter-Services Intelligence should be declared a terrorist entity. Afghanistan's deputy national security adviser Rahmatullah Nabil said that Afghanistan would continue its efforts to build peace but added that there was not much hope of cooperation from the Pakistani side. This was the most public outburst from the Afghan government after the chief of the Pakistan Ulema Council Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi declared that the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan was "legitimate". Afghanistan president Hamid Karzai also echoed Nabils concern and said that Pakistan had not taken any practical steps to tackle terrorism in Afghanistan coming from Pakistan. Afghanistans outburst is supposed to strain peace process with Pakistan for support on a reconciliation programme with the Taliban.

08 North Korea announces scrapping all non-aggression ties with South Korea Mar North Korea

North Korea announced that it was scrapping all non-aggression ties with South Korea, closing its hotline with Seoul and shutting their shared border point after the US and Seoul launched a joint military exercise. The declaration also followed on the steps of a fresh round of sanctions imposed by the UN on North Korea for its nuclear test last month. Earlier, North Korea had said that it had the right to carry out a preemptive nuclear strike. The US warned North Korea against its threat to carry out a nuclear strike and urged China, which is the only ally of the North, to join in further isolating North Korea.

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21 Chidambaram forces CBI to call off raids at M.K. Stalins house Raid Mar CBI The CBI, on March 21 , carried out raids at 19 places across Tamil Nadu including DMK chief M Karunanidhi's

son M K Stalins residence. The raid has created a stir in the political arena since the raid happened only two days after the DMK pulled out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA). The Congress ministers in the UPA including P Chidambaram and Kamal Nath strongly disapproved of the CBI searches, as the Centre said that it was not aware of the raids. Chidambaram conveyed his disapproval of the raid to the Minister in-charge of CBI, V Narayanasamy, who immediately called off the raid. The DMK termed the CBI raid a political vendetta, since the DMK had pulled out of the UPA coalition on March 19th.

22 Government approves 12 FDI proposals worth over Rs 2,609 crore Mar FDI The government has approved 12 FDI proposals, totaling over Rs 2,609 crore. The biggest proposal that was
cleared was Ahmedabad-based Claris Otsuka Ltd's plan to hive off its Infusions business into a new joint venture with FDI worth Rs 1,050 crore. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) also cleared the proposal of Decathlon Sports India's proposal for induction of foreign equity worth Rs 700 crore to engage in single brand retail. The board, however, deferred nine proposals and rejected one. The proposals which were deferred include that of Alliance Insurance Brokers to induct foreign equity to carry out the business of insurance broking. Mumbai-based Erica Healthcare's proposal to increase foreign equity was rejected by the FIPB.

31 Central African Republic leader Djotodia announces caretaker government Mar Central African Republic

Michel Djotodia, the leader of the Seleka Rebel Coalition, who had declared himself as the president of the Central African Republic (CAR) last week after ousting Presdent Francois Bozize, has announced a caretaker government in which he controls several ministries. The interim government will consist of a 34-member cabinet where Djotodia would act as defence minister while several members of his Seleka rebel coalition would run other ministries. Another eight members of the former opposition would also be in the cabinet. The rebels had joined a power-sharing government in January after talks brokered by regional leaders to end a rebellion they launched last year. But the deal quickly collapsed, with the rebels saying their demands, including the release of political prisoners, had not been met. CAR, which has a population of about 4.5 million, has been hit by a series of rebellions since independence from France in 1960.

Science and Technology

21 Astronomers release pictures of just 3,80,000 years old universe, appears to be fatter and lumpy Mar Universe
Astronomers of the European Space Agency released the latest and most exquisite baby picture yet of the universe on Thursday, one that showed it to be 80 million to 100 million years older and a little fatter than previously thought, with more matter in it and perhaps slightly lopsided. Recorded by the European Space Page 18 of 21

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Agencys Planck satellite, the image is a heat map of the cosmos as it appeared only 370,000 years after the Big Bang, showing space speckled with faint spots from which galaxies would grow over billions of years. The map shows an universe that seems to have endured an explosive burp known as inflation, which was the dynamite in the Big Bang. The patterns within the microwaves detected by Planck date from less than a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang, when the universe is said to have undergone a violent burst of expansion that set cosmic history on its present course. These patters form Plancks most important gatherings. The new data have allowed astronomers to change their existing model. It now seems the universe is 13.8 billion years old, instead of 13.7 billion, and consists by mass of 4.9 percent ordinary matter like atoms, 27 percent dark matter and 68 percent dark energy.

22 Indias first Mars Orbit Mission might prove to an exciting ground for Indocollaboration Mar US US-India Collaboration
The United States feels that Indias Mars orbit mission slated for October this year, can prove to be an interesting ground for collaboration between the two countries in this field. In the US-India Civil Space Joint Working Group held on March 21st, Geoffrey Pyatt, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, said that India and the US should seek to increase commercial space cooperation and create opportunities for companies of both countries. The US-India Science and Technology Endowment Fund, established in 2009 and with an annual budget of USD 2-3 million was set up to promote commercialization of innovative technologies between the two countries, boost job opportunities in the sector and work on some of the big challenges across the world.

23 Indian Start Up among 23 teams competing for Google Lunar X Prize to land on the moon Mar Lunar X
Rahul Narayan, a Delhi-based IT professional has started team Indus, a Delhi-based startup that is the only entrant from India in the Google Lunar X prize competition. With a prize of $ 30 million, the competition will reward the first privately funded team to softland on the moon, travel 500metres and transmit back to earth, at a distance of nearly 4 lakh km, pictures, video and data. The target must be achieved before December 31, 2015. Narayans venture is modest in comparison to other entrants in the competition that are superbly funded and staffed. But Team Indus has an advantage in the form of technical knowhow and everything that is available in premier institutions and engineering companies across the country. In addition, India has the cheapest space programme in the world. If Narayan can garner support and funds for the project and convince the Indian Space Research Organization to launch his moon rover on its workhorse PSLV rocket, Team Indus might emerge the winner in this prestigious competition.

05 China hikes defence budget to $ 115.7 billion Mar China

China on Tuesday hiked its defence budget by 10.7 per cent to USD 115.7 billion. The hike in the defence spending was announced as the Chinese legislature, the National People's Congress (NPC) opened its annual session, which also marked the once-in-a-decade power transfer. As per the budgetary papers placed at the Page 19 of 21

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NPC, a sum of 720.168 billion Yuan was allocated for defence, which at the current exchange rate amounted to USD 115.7 billion. The newly elected leader Xi Jinping and his fellow leaders would formally take over power from President Hu Jintao in the course of next ten days. The 10 per cent hike this year comes when China is rapidly modernising its armed forces in the back drop of deepening standoff with Japan over the disputed islands as well as differences with several South Asian Countries over the South China Sea.

07 European Union fines Microsoft $731 million for breaching terms of an antitrust deal Mar Microsoft
The European Commission of the European Union has fined Microsoft Corporation $731 million for failing to offer Windows users a choice of Internet browser, as it had agreed to do in 2009 for a five-year period. In return for that initial agreement, the EU had dropped an antitrust case. The Commission said that 15 million users in the European Union were only given the choice of using Microsofts Internet Explorer programme which seemed to be a suspected abuse of market dominance.

09 Uhuru Kenyatta wins Kenyas Presidential Election, opposition claims vote Mar fraud Kenya Elections
Uhuru Kenyatta, the son of Kenyas first president has been declared as the winner in the countrys Presidential election. Mr. Kenyatta has been a controversial figure, who has been accused by prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in The Hague of bankrolling death squads during Kenyas last election crisis in 2007 and his trial is set for July. Kenyatta has said that he is innocent and will cooperate with the proceedings of the International Criminal Court but said in his winning speech that the international community should respect the sovereignty and democratic will of the people of Kenya. The US increasingly relies on Kenya as a key partner in the African region and Kenyattas victory could prove to be a challenge for the Obama Administration which has pledged support to the International Criminal Court. Meanwhile, Raila Odinga, Kenyas prime minister, has refused to admit defeat saying that there has been massive illegality and tampering with the election results. Mr. Odinga plans to appeal to Kenyas Supreme Court to overturn the results, which some independent observers said were unsatisfactory and suspicious.

19 India emerges as worlds top arms buyer, Asia is top importer of major conventional weapons worldwide Mar Arms Purchase
India has emerged as the worlds largest importer of conventional weapons worldwide according to new data on international arms transfers published by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI). Asia and Oceania have accounted for almost half (47%) of global imports of major conventional weapons. The top five importers of major conventional weapons worldwide are all in Asia: India (12% of global imports), China (6%), Pakistan (5%), South Korea (5%) and Singapore (4%). Meanwhile, China replaced UK as the world's fifth largest exporter of major conventional arms worldwide. This is the first time China has featured in the top five arms exporters since the end of Cold War. Pakistan accounted for 55% of Chinese arms exports and is likely to remain the largest recipient of Chinese arms in the coming years. Overall, the volume of international transfers of major conventional weapons grew by 17% between 2003-2007 and 2008-12. Page 20 of 21

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22 Interpol rejects Pakistans appeal to arrest Musharraf Mar Pakistan The Interpol has rejected Pakistan's request to issue a Red Corner Notice against former military ruler Pervez
Musharraf in connection with Benazir Bhutto's assassination case by stating the case against Musharraf constitutes a matter of a predominantly political character. Musharraf, who went into self-exile in early 2009, has said he intends to return to Pakistan on March 24 to lead his party All Pakistan Muslim League in upcoming polls. This is the second refusal by Interpol to arrest Musharraf after it refused to arrest Musharraf last year due to insufficient proof by Pakistani authorities.

23 Buddhist Monks clash with Muslims in Myanmar Mar Myanmar Members of the Buddhist and Muslim communities in Meiktila township of Myanmar have clashed this week
after a dispute between a Muslim gold shop owner and two Buddhist sellers which has spurred communal tensions in Myanmar once again. A group of about 100 Buddhists, including some monks, went around Meiktila on Thursday night torching mosques, houses and schools prompting thousands of residents to flee their homes. More than 5,000 Buddhists are also estimated to have fled to monasteries around the city to escape the violence. Last year, similar communal tension had killed scores of people in western Myanmar.

30 Growing fuel shortage leads to food crisis in Egypt, sparks fear of economic fiasco Mar Egypt
A fuel shortage has led to a crisis in Egypt with food prices soaring and gun fights in fuel stations killing at least 5 people and injuring others. The governments reserve of hard currency has fallen to about $13 billion from $36 billion two years ago since half of its currency reserves are in illiquid forms like gold while billions are owed to the foreign companies operating Egypts oil and gas fields. Scarcity of hard cash has drastically reduced fuel imports and the fuel shortage is raising questions about Egypts ability to keep importing wheat that is essential to subsidized bread supplies. Farmers already lack fuel for the pumps that irrigate their fields and to reap their harvest next month. Rising Prices and employment, together with the fuel shortage has sparked fear of an economic catastrophe. Economists are of the opinion that Egypt must carry out tax increases and subsidy cuts tied to a $ 4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which would make Egypt creditworthy enough to secure loans from other lenders. Mohamed Morsis government has, till now, rejected an IMF agreement, fearing further public outrage and prefers to wait until the election of a new parliament, a delay which might cost Egypt dearly. Egypt imports much of its fuel and energy subsidies make up 30 percent of government spending. Egypt also imports about 75 percent of its wheat to improve its subsidized bread. The two years of protests since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak have reduced tourism and foreign investment, crippling the economy. And as a result of the outflows of hard currency, the value of the Egyptian pound has also been falling.

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Starred Articles
01 Supreme Court rejects Novartis AGs plea to preserve patent for cancer drug Glivec Apr Corporate > Novartis
The Supreme Court of India has rejected Swiss drug maker Novartis AGs plea to preserve patent for its cancer drug Glivec, ending fears among patients of a 15-fold price increase of the drug if Novartis won the patent. Glivec, invented in 1991, is a miracle cure for a type of fatal blood cancer called chronic myeloid leukemia (CML) and has produced results of over 95% survival rate among affected patients. India has an estimated 3 lakh CML patients, with 20,000 added every year. Glivec is sold by Novartis for about Rs 1.2 lakh per month whereas Indian manufacturers sell the same drug at a monthly cost of only Rs 8,000. The Supreme Courts judgement means that Indian companies like Natco and Cipla can continue making and selling Glivec to India and most third world countries. The Indian pharma market is $11 billion, growing at 13 14% annually and Indian companies sell over $26 billion worth of cheap non-patent drugs to most of the poor and still developing countries. Background: Glivec was first commercially sold in India in 2001 and the new patent law came into force in 2005. The patent tribunal rejected Novartiss claim for a patent in 2006 as it dated from an earlier time when a different patent law prevailed. After going through various appeals, Novartis appealed in the apex court pleading that a crucial section 3 (d) of the new patent law was not applicable to Glivec. This section says that just discovering a new form of a substance is not enough to grant a patent, if it does not enhance its "known efficacy". Novartis was arguing that a new "beta crystalline" form of Glivec is more effective and hence qualifies as a new invention, and hence should get patent protection. The Supreme Court said that the beta crystalline form was nothing new. It has always existed in the original amorphous form and hence could not be patented.

01 Shuffling in BJP, Modi appointed to Parliamentary Board and Government > BJP Apr Politics Parliamentary Board:
The BJP has appointed Narendra Modi to the partys Parliamentary Board, the partys top decision making body as well as to its main election committee. BJP President Rajnath Singh backed Modis appointment saying that Modi deserved to be on the Parliamentary Board because of his stature as the only BJP chief minister to have won three consecutive assembly elections as well as by virtue of being the partys most popular face. The decision is significant since Rajnath has thwarted opposition to Modi within the party to appoint him to the two committees taking key decisions in the run up to the 2014 elections. Rajnath also inducted a lot of fresh faces in his team and tried to reconcile the demands from all lobbies within the party. General Secretaries: Modi confidant and former Gujarat minister of state for home, Amit Shah and Pilibhit MP Varun Gandhi have been appointed as general Secretaries. Vice Presidents: Smriti Irani, Uma Bharti and S S Ahluwalia have been made vice-presidents Omissions: senior BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Jaswant Singh, who had previously voiced their discontent with Modi, have been dropped from the committee. Najma Heptulla, Hema Malini and Shanta Kumar have been removed from their posts as vice-presidents.

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GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

02 Reliance Industries signs Rs. 1,200 crore deal with Reliance Communications Apr Corporate > Reliance

The telecommunication unit of Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Industries has signed a 1200 crore deal to use Anil Ambanis Reliance Communications fibre optic network to roll out its 4G services. This is the first ever deal since the two brothers split their fathers business enterprise 8 years ago. As part of the deal, Reliance Jio Infocomm, the telecom arm of RIL, which is the only company to have 4G airwaves for all of India's 22 service areas, will get access to Reliance Communications' national and international optic fibre. The deal is supposed to be the first in a comprehensive framework of intended business cooperation and will benefit the debt-laden Reliance Communications.

03 New anti-rape law comes into force > Anti-rape Apr India President Pranab Mukherjee has given his assent to the Criminal Law (Amendment) Bill 2013 brought in the
aftermath of the Delhi gang rape case which provides for life term and even death sentence for rape convicts besides stringent punishment for offences like acid attacks, stalking and voyeurism. The law was passed by Lok Sabha on March 19 and by Rajya Sabha on March 21.With an aim to prevent heinous crimes such as rape, the new law states that an offender can be sentenced to rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 20 years, but which may extend to life, meaning imprisonment for the remainder of the convicts natural life and with a fine. It has provisions for handing out death sentence to offenders who may have been convicted earlier for such crimes. The law, for the first time, defines stalking and voyeurism as non-bailable offences if repeated for a second time.

04 Deep seabed mining of polymetallic nodules to become a reality and Technology > Polymetallic Nodules Apr Science U.K. firm Lockheed Martin, for the first time in the world, will mine polymetallic nodules in a 58,000 sq. km.
area in the Pacific Ocean. This venture could add 40 billion pounds to the U.K. economy over the next 30 years. India, which has been a pioneer to invest in research of polymetallic nodules in the deep seabed, has been allocated 150,000 sq. km in the Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) by the International Seabed Authority (ISA) for pursuing mining of nodules. The Indian Ocean has a vast area of 10-18 million sq.km covered by polymetallic nodules. Of this, the mass of polymetallic nodules in the area allocated to India (Indian Pioneer area) is estimated to be 380 million metric tonnes (mmt). Of the total amount, manganese may account for about 92.60 mmt whereas metals like cobalt, nickel and copper account for 0.56 mmt, 4.70 mmt and 4.30 mmt respectively. The mining of these metals is of extreme importance to India which does not have a terrestrial source of these metals. However technology for this is still at a nascent stage and the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT), Chennai is developing the technology for mining polymetallic nodules found at a depth of 6000 metres on the Indian Ocean.

08 Pakistan allowed US drone strikes in secret deal by insisting drones should mountains camps where Kashmiri militants were trained Apr avoid World > Pakistan-US Drone Deal
An article from the book The Way of the Knife: The C.I.A., a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth, to be published by Penguin Press reveals a covert deal between the United States C.I.A and Pakistanis InterPage 2 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

Services Intelligence (ISI) to engage in drone strikes in Pakistans tribal areas. In a secret deal, the C.I.A. had agreed to kill Nek Muhammad, a Pakistani ally of the Taliban who led a tribal rebellion and was marked by Pakistan as an enemy of the state, in exchange for access to airspace it had long sought so it could use drones to hunt down its own enemies. Muhammads rise to power ultimately forced Pakistani authorities to allow US drones into Pakistani airspace. Ultimately, Muhammad was killed by a drone strike in June2004 which the Pakistani military claimed was its own handiwork. The terms of the negotiations were stunning. ISI agreed to allow armed drone flights over the tribal areas but insisted that US drones couldnt venture where Pakistans nuclear facilities were situated or the mountain camps where Kashmiri militants were trained for attacks on India. ISI also asserted that each drone strike would be approved by them giving them complete control on the selection of targets. The C.I.A. has since conducted drone strikes in Pakistan that have killed a huge number of militants and civilians alike and which is the subject of a major debate in the United States. Pakistan seemed to have become the testing ground for targeted killing operations that have come to define a new American way of fighting, ignoring the normal mechanisms by which the United States goes to war.

09 Supreme Court cuts down austerity measures in Portugal, government of severe economic woes Apr warns Economy > Portugal Recession
Portuguese Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho has warned that his government would be forced to introduce more spending cuts and people would face more difficulties in everyday life after Portugal's constitutional court struck down four of nine contested austerity measures that the government had introduced last year as part of a 2013 budget that included about 5 billion of tax increases and spending cuts. The court ruled as unconstitutional and discriminatory the governments plans to cut holiday bonuses for civil servants and pensioners, as well as to reduce sick leave and unemployment benefits. The ruling left the government short of about 1.4 billion of expected revenue, or more than one-fifth of the 2013 austerity package. In May 2011, Portugal became the third Eurozone country, after Greece and Ireland, to negotiate an international bailout. Portugal had received 78 billion from the International Monetary Fund and European creditors in return for introducing spending cuts and tax increases. However, it has failed to meet its economic goals and plunged further into one of the most prolonged and deepest economic recessions in the Eurozone, prompting street demonstrations and labour strikes.

09 Notices to Vodafone, Essar, HSBC for Rs. 35000 crore under-reporting; Adani, Tata, Essar, JSW face Rs. 2500 crore import duty evasion charges Apr Corporate > Under Reporting and Tax Evasion
Tax authorities in Mumbai circle have issued notices to four Essar group firms, Vodafone India Services, HSBC Securities & Capital Markets and Bharti Telecom for under-reporting revenues amounting to Rs 35,000 crore because of lower valuation of transactions. A sizeable portion of this amount is on account of the difference in valuation of shares between the companies and the government's transfer pricing department. Transfer pricing is the price at which related companies or associated enterprises transact with each other. In another case, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has accused Adani Power, Tata Power, Essar Power and JSW Energy and other companies of evading import duty amounting to Rs. 2500 crore on coal imports worth about Rs. 28,000 crore. The companies had allegedly imported bituminous coal by labeling it as steam coal to lower their duty outgo. But the power ministry has disputed DRI's claim and supported the cause Page 3 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

of producers who argued that there was ambiguity in a finance ministry directive that allowed a lower duty regime for steam coal.

11 Mukesh Ambani to take on lease 50,000 towers owned by Anil Ambanis Reliance Infratel Apr Corporate > Ambanis
Mukesh Ambani owned Reliance Jio Infocomm will take on lease 50,000 towers owned by Anil Ambanis Reliance Infratel to launch his 4G mobile services business. This is a part of intended business collaborations between the two brothers. A few days ago, Reliance Jio Infocomm had struck a Rs 1,200-crore deal to share fibre optic network of Reliance Communications. The telecom infrastructure deal will provide a ready platform for Mukesh to launch his 4G business and provide a steady flow of revenues to Anil to manage his debt.

12 SFI activists heckle Mamata Banerjee to protest SFI leader Sudipto Guptas death; in retaliation Trinamool vandalize Presidency University Apr Politics and Government > Trinamool Congress
Left supporters heckled West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Finance Minister Amit Mitra outside the Planning Commission Office in New Delhi to protest the death of SFI leader Sudipto Gupta in police custody. Sudipto Gupta, an SFI leader, was allegedly killed in police custody on April 2nd after he was thrashed brutally by the police while leading a peace protest March in Kolkata. Mamata maintained that Sudiptos head hit a lamp post when he put his head out while being taken in a police van whereas according to the police, Sudipto fell from the bus carrying SFI supporters and died. The incident has outraged a large number of students and incited protests from all quarters. The Left has demanded a judicial probe into the cause of death. Mamata faced strong criticism from the Left after she termed the incident a petty matter. In protests against the heckling of party leaders, Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad members vandalized and ransacked the physics department of Presidency University on April 13th and assaulted students, including women. The Trinamool Congress termed the incident trivial and blamed the media for giving more importance to the vandalism than the heckling of Banerjee.

12 Infosys misses its annual revenue guidance and forecasts slow revenue for 2013-14 Apr growth Corporate > Infosys
Infosys missed its full-year revenue guidance by 0.97 per cent in rupee terms and 0.6 per cent in dollar terms despite an 18.1 percent increase in revenues in the third quarter ending March 31st. Infosys also announced that its revenue growth forecast for 2013-14 would be 6 to 10 percent which is much lower than the industry average of 12 to 14 percent projected by NASSCOM. This prompted Infosys shares to dip by over 20 percent. Infosys reported revenues of Rs. 40,352 crore for 2012-13, up by 19.6 per cent compared to the previous financial year. However, on a sequential basis, revenues grew by a mere 0.3 per cent. Infosys cited the volatile business environment as the reason for the low revenue guidance for 2013-14.

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GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

15 3 killed and more than 140 wounded at Boston Marathon Bomb blasts Apr World > Boston Bomb Blasts

Two powerful bombs exploded at the popular Boston Marathon killing 3 and critically injuring over 140 people. The two blasts occurred within seconds on a sidewalk along the 42-kilometre route of the Boston Marathon, where thousands of people had lined up to cheer on the marathoners. Although no militant outfit has claimed responsibility for the blasts, White House is approaching it as an act of terror. FBI has revealed that bombing was carried out with kitchen pressure-cookers packed with explosives, nails and other lethal shrapnel.

15 Gold prices drop 9 percent, biggest one-day fall in 30 years Apr Economy > Gold Prices

Gold prices plunged $140.30 to $1,361.10 an ounce on Monday, 15th April, a decline of 9% and its biggest oneday drop since 1983. In the last two trading days, the price of Gold has dropped $200 an ounce i.e. nearly a drop of 13 percent. After the sharp drop in gold prices, worried traders hurried to sell their shares and move out of the market. Gold is often seen as a safe investment and investors tend to invest in gold when they are fearful of rising prices and sell it when they see inflation receding. A proposal to Cyprus to help its banks by selling off some of its gold reserves led investors to a selling frenzy as they worried that Spain, Italy and other weak European countries might also sell their gold reserves, at a time when the demand for the metal is weakening.

15 BJP must name Prime Ministerial candidate by year end, rule out Narendra Modi; demands Nitish Kumar Apr Politics and Government > BJP JD (U)
A rift in the National Democratic Alliance seems apparent after the BJP rejected JD (U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumars demand that the BJP rule out Narendra Modi as the partys Prime Ministerial candidate in 2014. Kumar also demanded that the BJP name its Prime Ministerial candidate by the year-end to avoid bringing in Modi suddenly, either in the immediate run-up to the polls or afterwards. In a hard-hitting speech, Kumar, without taking names, rejected Modis candidature for the PMs post by citing lack of secular credentials and a growth model which cannot address the issue of malnutrition or drinking water. The BJP responded by saying that it rejected all unfounded inferences against Narendra Modi and reprimanded Nitish for losing focus of removing the UPA coalition.

16 Massive Earthquake strikes Iran, 40 feared dead; tremors felt in North India too Apr World > Iran Earthquake
A powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck the border regions between Iran and Pakistan. The quake happened at 10.44am and tremors were felt across the Gulf region, across Pakistan and parts of North-West India. The epicenter of the earthquake was 50miles to the remote town of Khash in South East Iran. 40 people were feared to be dead as communications were cut off from the affected regions in Iran and Pakistan.

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GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

19 Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf arrested Apr Politics and Government > Pakistan

Former Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has been arrested for not cooperating with police officials investigating a case registered against him for imposing an emergency in 2007 and detaining over 60 members of the superior judiciary, including chief justice Iftikhar Choudhry. The police want Musharraf to be placed in judicial custody and dont want to keep him in jail because of threats to his life. Musharraf has been disqualified for the May 11 parliamentary election because of the criminal charges. In a related development, a Pakistani anti-terrorism court, conducting the trial of suspects charged with involvement in the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has ordered that former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf be included in the investigation process. Investigators said that Musharraf, despite being aware of the danger to Ms. Bhuttos life, did not take the adequate security measures to prevent her assassination.

20 Gold prices increase by Rs. 500 /10 gram on retail sales Apr Economy > Gold

Gold prices increased by Rs. 500 in Delhi to reach 27,000 per 10 gram, on 20th April, after the recent meltdown in global bullion prices. The gold in New York climbed 1.4 per cent to 1,412.40 dollar an ounce and spurted one per cent to Rs. 26,069 per 10 gram on the MCX. The recovery of gold prices was backed by retailers buying it at attractive low levels. The increase was further fuelled on speculators covering their short positions created in the bear markets and a rise in futures trade on the Multi Commodity Exchange. However, buying activity was mostly confined to gold as silver continued to fall for the sixth straight day on April 20th by losing Rs. 100 to Rs. 45,300 per kg. Despite the recent crash in Gold prices, the RBI's gold stock of about 400 tonnes, currently valued at $25.7 billion, has appreciated 41% since it bought 200 tonnes in October-November 2009 from the International Monetary Fund. During the same period, returns from alternative liquid assets were just one- fourth of gold. The share of gold in its $295-billion foreign exchange reserves is 8.7%, up from less than 5% at the time of the purchase from IMF and its value is substantially higher than the returns from other currencies in its reserves.

22 Sahara India amongst top defaulters, owes Rs. 3,341.67 lakh to the Provident Fund Organization Apr Employees Corporate > Sahara
Sahara India faces fresh allegations of owing Rs. 3,341.67 lakh as dues and is amongst the top defaulters of the Employees Provident Fund Organization (EPFO). Five of the group firms are part of the top 50 companies in the country that have defaulted on depositing contributions to the Employees Pension Fund on behalf of its employees. It is a criminal offence for an employer to deduct but not deposit employees provident fund and related contributions. In such cases, the EPFO can also seize property of the defaulter to recover dues and can be charged under the Indian Penal code. Currently, Sahara India is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for not refunding Rs. 24,000 crore, collected from over 3 crore investors.

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GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

23 Standing Committee on Coal and Steel says all coal blocks awarded after 1993 illegal Apr India > Coalgate
The standing committee on Coal and Steel has said that all coal blocks distributed between 1993 and 2008 were done in an unauthorized manner and allotment of all mines where production is yet to start should be cancelled. The committee has also recommended that all personnel directly or indirectly involved in the allocation should be investigated. The committees report is in line with the Comptroller and Auditor Generals (CAG) report of August 17, 2013, which says that the government extended windfall benefit of Rs. 1.86 lakh crore to private entities by distributing blocks without bidding. The allegations have put the UPA government in a bad light with the opposition demanding its removal.

23 Bengal Chit Fund boss Sudipta Sen held in Jammu and Kashmir Apr India > Cheat Fund Scam

Sudipta Sen, the alleged kingpin of West Bengals multi-crore chit fund scam has been arrested along with Saradha group executive director Debjani Mukherjee and a senior official of Saradhas Jharkhand Operations, Arvind Chauhan, at a hotel of Sonamarg on the Shrinagar-Leh highway. On 10th April, Sen fled to Ranchi, where he changed his car and drove through a 2500 km road stretch before finally checking into the posh hotel of Sonmarg. SEBI has barred Saradha Reality from the Securities Market and ordered it to close all its collective schemes and refund the money collected from investors within three months. The West Bengal government has frozen about 35 bank accounts, while 36 cars and four office buildings belonging to Saradha Chairman Sudipta Sen and his company have been seized. Lakhs of investors of the chit fund group have hit the roads alleging they have been duped of over Rs 30,000 crore. An agent of the company tried to commit suicide and a woman who had deposited 30,000 with the company set herself on fire. Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress is facing accusations of being in close links with the fraud company. Trinamool Rajya Sabha MP Kunal Ghosh headed Saradha's media interests whereas another Trinamool MP, Shatabdi Roy, featured in Saradha's promotional material. The opposition also alleged that Mamata Banerjee had inaugurated two Saradha publications. Trinamool has denied the allegations and accused the previous Left government for allowing chit funds to flourish in Bengal since the 1980s. On April 6, Sen couriered letters to several agencies, including CBI, the finance ministry and SEBI,listing politicians, including Trinamool leaders and a minister in Assam who had allegedly taken money from Saradha. The content, if true, could reveal a nexus between politicians and fraud chit funds Background: Saradha had mopped up about Rs. 1200 crore through its chit funds. About 2.5 to 3.5 lakh agents worked for Saradha group, many of who also invested their own money. These agents got a commission ranging from 15 to 40 per cent. The schemes were simple and attractive. An investor could invest as little as 100 rupees and there was no upper limit. Saradha promised huge returns of 15 per cent to 50 per cent. It also promised land and fancy holidays, always with the assurance that if it failed to deliver, it would give cash. In reality, it merely gave money collected from one depositor to pay off another. There is speculation that the chit fund scam bust after a crackdown by the SEBI and the Reserve Bank of India. Also, many policies held by depositors were beginning to mature and Saradha simply did not have the cash to pay up.

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GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

23 Reliance Jio inks agreement with Bharti to share Telco Infra, Airtel acquires Telecom Uganda Apr Warid Corporate > Reliance Bharti
Reliance Jio, the telecommunications unit of Reliance Industries owned by Mukesh Ambani had joined hands with arch rival Bharti Airtel to use the latters i2i submarine cables for its 4G launch. A joint statement said that the two companies will continue to build on this strategic framework and consider other mutual areas of cooperation to leverage their respective assets towards offering customers a much richer experience. The deal is significant, especially for reliance Jio because it can utilize the dedicated fibre pair on Bhartis i2i submarine cable that connects India and Singapore as well as get direct access and ultra-fast connectivity to major hubs across Asia-Pacific. The deal between the two major competitor companies has surprised industry insiders. Meanwhile, Airtel has acquired rival Warid Telecom Uganda, giving it a combined market share of almost 40% in Uganda. Bharti is said to have closed the deal at about $ 100 million, though the financial details of the transaction have not been disclosed. At present, Airtel is present across 17 African countries through its $ 10.7 billion acquisition of Zains continental unit in 2010.

24 based Winsome Jewellers Apr Economy > Winsome Issue

Banks invoke letters of credit worth more than 4000 crore to MumbaiStandard Bank of South Africa, Standard Chartered London and Scotiabank from whom Winsome imported the bullion and a dozen banks in India have invoked letters of credit (LCs) worth more than 4,000 crore after the company, formerly Su-Raj Diamonds, failed to cough up a smaller amount. The overseas banks invoked the letters of credit following the devolvement of LCs worth about 500 crore. Of the LCs, many are yet to reach the due date. But the bullion banks are unwilling to take chances with the price of gold falling sharply. Banks have the right to invoke LCs before maturity if they fear the buyer may default. The company, having contracted imports at a higher price, is backing out with gold falling unexpectedly. Winsome has moved the Bombay High Court to stay the invocation of LCs by Standard Bank. In 2012, Su-Raj, came under the glare of US investigative agencies following allegations of undisclosed sale of synthetic diamonds. In the same year, the listed entity rechristened itself Winsome. Crisil has downgraded Winsomes rating to A4 and the company continues to remain on the rating agencys Watch Negative list. Letters of credit are issued by the banks of the buyers to comfort sellers that they will be paid as long as the terms of trade are fulfilled.

25 Jet to sell 24% stake to Etihad Airways for Rs 2,058 crore, Etihad extends $300 million soft loan to Jet Apr Corporate > Jet-Etihad Deal
Jet Airways would sell 24 per cent equity to Etihad Airways for about Rs 2,058 crore, as part of a strategic alliance that would lead to a major expansion in their global network. The 24 percent equity would comprise 27.26 million shares in a preferential offer to Etihad at Rs 754.74 apiece. The market value of the carrier climbed Rs 628 crore to Rs 5,582 crore. Substantial ownership and effective control will remain with Indian nationals with Goyal as non-executive chairman holding 51% of the company. The deal will give Etihad a bigger foothold in the fast growing market in India and provide Jet with cash to repay debt and give it a partner with global expertise. Page 8 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

Etihad has extended a $ 300 million soft loan to Jet Airways at a rate of only 3 percent. Jet will use the money to partially replace its high-cost loans. Jet Airways had a debt of $ 2.1 billion at the end of December 2012 and is paying an annual interest of about Rs. 1000 crore. The soft loan will help Jet save $30 million (Rs. 162.75 crores) annually on interest alone.

26 China denies crossing LAC, says itll resolve standoff amicably Apr Politics and Government > Indo-China Standoff

China denied that its forces have crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) but at the same time said that its forces are in talks with the Indian side to resolve the latest standoff issue. Indian troops might increase troops in the LAC if the Chinese army does not back out from the present location. The Chinese soldiers have pitched one more tent near the face-off site in Despang valley after 3 failed flag meetings between the two armies. This has diminished the Indian governments assessment that there was no need of diplomatic-level talks and that the issue can be resolved through dialogue between the local commanders. Background: Chinese troops set up a post inside Indian Territory, about 10 km from the LAC, the de-facto border between India and China, and have been staying there since April 15th. Indian border forces, too, have stationed a matching contingent just opposite the Chinese post.

27 Trinamool Congress MPs in letter to CBI Apr India > Saradha Chit Fund Scam

Chit fund scam accused blames Nalini Chidambaram and prominent

The alleged kingpin of the West Bengal Chit Fund scam Mr. Sudipta Sen had written a letter to the CBI on April 6th which has sprouted fresh political controversy of national proportions. Sen said that he met prominent Trinamool leaders, Kunal Ghosh and Srinjay Bose, as representatives of Bengali newspaper Protidin and agreed to pay Protidin 60 lakhs per month and made Ghosh the CEO of his company Channel 10 at a salary of Rs. 15 lakhs per month. The Trinamool MPs, in turn, assured Sen that they had close links with West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and promised that they would protect Sens business from the Central and State governments. He also alleged that Nalini Chidambaram, wife of Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram, who was Union Home Minister at the time, sought his help for the establishment of a television channel in NorthEast India. The letter accuses other businesspersons and politicians of putting pressure on the fund to lend money for various projects. The Congress has dismissed allegations against Nalini and has demanded, along with the CPI (M), a CBI enquiry into the murky affairs of the Chit Fund. The West Bengal government will set up a 500-crore relief fund to help out those depositors, recommended by the Inquiry commission, who have lost everything in the Saradha Groups collective investment schemes. Ms. Banerjee announced an additional 10 per cent tax on tobacco and tobacco products to raise money for the fund. In addition, seized property and assets of the Saradha group will be auctioned off to repay investors.

28 Govt hikes import tariff value of gold to $472/10 grams Apr Economy > Gold
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Government has raised the tariff value of gold to $472 per 10 grams on account of a volatile price trend in global markets. Tariff value is the base price on which the customs duty is determined to prevent under-

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

invoicing. It was only 10 days back that tariff value of gold was changed bringing it down to $449 per 10 grams due to weak global prices. The government has cut the import tariff value of gold as international prices of the precious metal have started firming up after witnessing a sudden fall in last few weeks. Last week in Delhi, Gold rates were firm at Rs 28,100 per 10 grams.

29 More than 350 dead as building housing textile factories collapses in Bangladesh Apr World > Bangladesh
More than 350 people have died and more than 800 people have been badly wounded after an 8-storey building that housed several readymade garment factories collapsed in Savar, in the outskirts of Dhaka. The dead were mostly low-paid garment workers from the factories. Police say they ordered an evacuation of the building on the previous day after cracks in the building were found. But textile factories forced their workers to come to work. The disaster is the worst ever for the countrys booming and powerful garment industry, surpassing a fire five months ago that killed 112 people and brought widespread pledges to improve workersafety standards. The police have arrested five people including the owner of the building.

02 Bombay High Court rejects UB Holdings plea to restrain banks from selling Apr shares Kingfisher
The Bombay High Court has rejected UB Groups plea to restrain banks from selling shares of United Spirits pledged as security against loans to Kingfisher Airlines. UB moved court after the SBI sold USL shares valued at Rs. 100 crore last week. The action by the banks, with SBI as the lead lender is likely to hamper Vijay Mallyas plans to revive Kingfisher as well as sell a majority stake in United Spirits Ltd. (USL) to London based drinks major Diageo, announced last November for over Rs 11,000 crore. The banks have lent close to 7500 crore to Kingfisher Airlines till now and the Bombay High Court ruling means that the consortium of 17 banks would be free to sell shares of the subsidiary companies of the UB Group which had been pledged with the lenders under an agreement in 2010.

02 Sterlite Industries fined Rs. 100 crore Industries Apr Sterlite The Supreme Court has imposed a fine of Rs. 100 crore (Rs. 1 billion) on Sterlite Industries for flouting green
norms at its Tuticorin plant in Tamil Nadu. Despite the fine, the Supreme Court overruled the Madras High Courts directive in 2010 to shut down its Tuticorin plant over long standing environmental concerns. However the Supreme Courts ruling will have no bearing on the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Boards 30 March directive to close the smelter till further orders after allegations of a harmful gas leak from the factory. The Tuticorin plant is the largest copper smelter in India, capable of producing 300,000 tonnes a year.

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GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

05 Indias most traded 50 large-cap companies may report worst aggregate top growth in two years Apr line Top 50 Companies
India's 50 most frequently traded large-cap companies are likely to report the worst aggregate top line growth in two years in the quarter to March on lower spending by consumers, although operating margins have improved. Companies which constitute the Nifty 50 index expected to grow by 4% from a year ago while net profit will rise by 5%. Sales are likely to grow at the slowest pace in nine quarters. In the previous quarter, at 9.4%, revenue growth fell below 10% for the first time in two years. The trend of slower sales growth is likely to continue in the medium term. Overall demand has fallen and corporates are hesitant to make major investments because of policy uncertainty, governance and execution issues. The only positive can be that at 19.8%, operating margins will be 150 basis points better than a year ago. Apart from cost control and lower raw material expenses, higher operating profits of select companies, including Asian Paints, Cairn India, Gail, Reliance Infrastructure and Tata Power will likely boost aggregate margin.

09 Tata Consultancy Services to buy French Enterprise Solutions Provider Alti SA for about 533 crore Apr TCS
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) will acquire France - based Enterprise Solutions Provider Alti SA for 75 million Euro (about Rs 533 crore) in an all-cash deal. Alti SA is a leading French technology services firm with expertise in IT services including Enterprise Solutions, Assurance and CRM solutions. TCS said that the acquisition would help to increase its foothold and presence in France, the third-largest IT services market in Europe, and better service its clients in France and Europe more comprehensively with an expanded set of services and solutions.

09 Wipro dips 11% after hiving off non-IT business into unlisted entity Apr Wipro

IT major Wipros shares plunged over 11% in early trade after it demerged its non-IT business into an unlisted entity Wipro Enterprises (WEL) to comply with SEBIs minimum public holding for all listed non-PSU companies. SEBI's norm mandates a 25 per cent minimum public holding by June. Wipro said that the demerger would help to focus on its growth strategy in the IT products and services sector and increase its competitiveness in the market. Wipros non-IT businesses comprise consumer care and lighting, medical equipment and infrastructure engineering.

09 BMW to manufacture sub-500cc motorcycles for the first time in collaboration with TVS Apr BMW
BMW Motorrad, the motorcycle division of BMW and Chennai based TVS Motors have entered into a long term technical agreement to jointly manufacture a range of sub-500cc motorcycles. The new premium motorcycle range will come in two distinct varieties one badged BMW to be sold by BMW in India and globally and the other badged TVS to be sold in India and any global market that TVS wants. BMW is venturing into the sub-500 cc motorcycle segment for the first time. The tie-up will also feature TVS in the 250cc segment where it isnt present right now and a technological rub-off across its manufacturing line-up. The new motorcycles are expected to roll out in 2015. Page 11 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

09 Supreme Court allows Bharti to continue 3G services, Sunil Mittals case to decided next week Apr be Bharti
The Supreme Court has issued a status quo order in the 3G roaming case, allowing Bharti to continue offering high-end data services till April 11, the next date of hearing for the case. The Telecom department had earlier declared as illegal the 3G roaming pacts that enabled these companies to offer pan-India data services and imposed stiff penalties on them. In a different case in which Mittal had appealed to the Supreme Court to quash the summons issued against him by a lower Court in the 2G spectrum allocation case, the Supreme Court has said that it would decide on the validity of the summons by April 15 and has asked the CBI special court not to deal with the issue till April 16.

11 Toyota, Honda, Nissan to recall 3.4 million vehicles worldwide Apr Toyota, Honda, Nissan

Toyota, Honda and Nissan are recalling more than 2 million vehicles globally for an identical problem with air bags on the passenger side whose inflator may burst, sending plastic pieces flying. No injuries have been reported relating to the problem. The auto makers recalled the vehicles after airbag manufacturer Japans Takota Corporation recalled them. Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 1.7 million vehicles whereas Honda Motor Co. is recalling 1.1 million vehicles worldwide. Toyotas affected models include the Corolla, Tundra, Lexus SC, produced between November 2000 and March 2004 whereas Honda has recalled its Civic and Odyssey models.

17 Iconix Lifestyle enrolls Kapsons to launch 80-year old American Fashion London Fog in India Apr Brand Iconix Reliance
Iconix Lifestyle India, a joint venture between Iconix Brand Group and Reliance Brands, has enlisted North India-based retailer Kapsons to roll out the 80-year old American fashion brand London Fog in India. Mukesh Ambanis Reliance Brands controls the India rights for more than 20 international fashion brands of Iconix as part of an equal joint venture deal struck last year. London Fog is famous for manufacturing coats and jackets for a niche market. Chandigarh-based retailer Kapsons is the pan-India licensee for brands like Nike Action, Jordan kids and Levis kids along with retailing brands like Nautica, Tommy Hilfiger, Gant, Fcuk, Gas, Benetton and Calvin Klein Jeans, among others.

28 Tata Steel to shut down two UK Research facilities, job cuts expected Apr Tata Steel

Tata Steel plans to shut down two research and development facilities in the UK and shift them overseas to the Netherlands and India, resulting in 300-400 job cuts. This move is seen as a major blow to Britains already struggling industrial base. The European steel operations of Tata, which started by acquiring Corus back in 2007 for an estimated 6.7 billion pounds, is believed to be operating with towering debts of 3.4 billion pounds hit by high energy costs, falling demand and plummeting steel prices. Tata Steel employs around 19,000 workers in Britain and controls 46 per cent of the domestic market. Page 12 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

30 Aircel lenders contemplate merger or infusion of additional equity for fear default Apr of Aircel
Lenders to Aircel cellular company, led by SBI, are exploring a possible merger with Tata Teleservices as well as infusion of addition equity from Maxis, which owns 74% of Aircel, to prevent their loans, amounting to Rs. 23,000 crore, from turning into a non-performing asset. Aircel had taken loans from State Bank of India, Bank of Baroda and Punjab National Bank among a clutch of 15 banks. Aircel needs $ 4 billion of investment, through issue of new shares and from selling Broadband Wireless Access spectrum (BWA) won by the company in 2010 and fresh debt. However, Aircel faces major regulatory issues in India following a CBI complaint by Sivasankaran that he was forced to sell his stake to Maxis in 2006 because of pressure from Dayanidhi Maran, the telecom minister at the time, and Kalanithi Maran, Dayanidhis brother and the owner of Sun TV. The talks with Tata Teleservices might not fructify into a deal and banks might be apprehensive to lend money because of Maxiss difficulties with the Indian authorities, following which Aircel might find it difficult to run smoothly.

19 RBI issues strict orders to curb money laundering, banks to ask customers to resubmit ids Apr RBI Anti Money-Laundering
The RBI has issued orders asking banks to tell their customers to resubmit ids to prevent wrong documentation that allowed people to open false accounts and launder money. The RBI, in its probe following the cobrapost.com sting operation on staff of private banks, found several aberrations which suggest that staff at ICICI, HDFC and Axis banks might have flouted KYC norms and helped clients evade taxes. RBI has also asked banks to provide information on negative news and scam-related statements which they have issued to print media and social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and suggested tightening employees' incentive structure to prevent them from going overboard in selling financial products. In March, 2013, a sting operation conducted by theCobrapost.com alleged that some bank officials of Axis, ICICI and HDFC banks had offered to launder unaccounted money by investing in insurance schemes.

19 World Bank welcomes decision to establish the BRICS bank Apr BRICS Bank

The World Bank has said that it alone cannot meet the huge infrastructure needs of the emerging nations and has welcomed the decision of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to establish the BRICS Bank. Jim Yong Kim, the president of World Bank said that countries such as India had an infrastructure deficit of USD 1 trillion, half of which can be met by public resources whereas the other half cannot be financed by World Bank alone. The BRICS bank would help in a major way in such investments in infrastructure in the emerging nations.

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GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

01 Police reveal Olympic medalist Vijender Singh took heroin 12 times Singh Apr Vijender Punjab Police have revealed that Olympic bronze medalist boxer Vijender Singh and his boxing partner Ram
Singh had taken heroin 12 and 5 times respectively for personal consumption between December 2012 and February 2013. However, neither of them could be arrested at this time as they had not conspired or actively aided the smugglers in their activities and nothing had been recovered from them. The police in its investigation report have mentioned the 56 call logs between drug kingpin Kahlon and Vijender, GPS location of Vijender's cellphone and an SUV registered in Vijenders wifes name recovered near Kahlons flat. There had been controversery surrounding the police claims and Vijender said that the police had planted the SUV to frame him in the case. The Union Sports Ministry on Monday, 1st of April, directed the National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) to carry out heroin tests on Vijender. However, NADA has has expressed its inability to test him for heroin citing World Anti-Doping Agency's protocol. Background: On March 3, police recovered 26 kg Heroin worth over Rs. 130 crore from a flat in the Zirakpur area of Mohali district, following which Kahlon alias Ruby and his associate Rocky were arrested. Vijender Singhs name was dragged into the case while questioning Kahlon and Ram Singh.

08 Ajit Pawar apologizes for making objectionable comment on Maharashtra Apr drought Ajit Pawar
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar has tendered an apology, hours after making objectionable comments on the drought situation in Maharashtra. Addressing a rally in Pune's Indapur, Pawar reportedly said: "What can we do if there is no water in the dams in Maharashtra? Should we urinate?" Pawars remarks were first highlighted by the Aam Admi Party (AAP) and went on to create a political uproar in Maharashtra, with opposition parties demanding Powar be removed from the cabinet.

17 Blast near BJP office in Bangalore Apr Bangalore Blasts

A blast took place in the Malleshwaram area of Bangalore, a crowded residential neighbourhood, at around 10:30 am injuring 8 policemen and 8 civilians. Several vehicles in the area were damaged in the blasts. The policemen, who were injured, were on duty near the BJP office because of the upcoming Karnataka elections on May 5. A team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) has inspected the site.

23 China Troops refuse to retreat from the Indian side of the LAC in Ladakh Apr Indo-China Relations

On April 15, a set of around 30 Chinese troops entered the Indian side of the LAC at Raki Nala, around 10 km into what India perceives as the line of Actual control in Depsang plains along the Sino-Indian border in Ladakh, with no signs of retreat till now. The ITBP tents were set up after consultation with the Indian Army and the Ministry of defence. The ITBP personnel manning the nearest Burtse Border outpost didnt find the intrusion unusual as there had been nearly 400 such incursions by Chinese troops in 2012 and around 100 since January Page 14 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

1 this year. With different perceptions of the LAC on either side, the Chinese say that they are stationed 1 km into their side of the LAC. However, unlike normal times when the Chinese troops retreat almost immediately, this time, inspite of a flag meeting on April 18 between the local commanders, the Chinese Army stayed put. India is pursuing the matter at the highest diplomatic level with Beijing and the Indian government has said that the incident should not mar Chinese Premier Li Keqiangs visit to India in May which is considered crucial to progress of relations between the two countries.

25 Sudden rise in cases of depression among IT workers Apr IT workers Depression
Psychiatric and counselling centres across the country are reporting increasing cases of depression, wherein more and more IT executives are coming in with problems of acute depression, insecurity, low confidence, dejection, aversion to social life and panic. Earlier, fewer people came with mostly stress-related issues such as anxiety and lack of appetite. The IT industry which was once known for its fat salaries and swanky offices is in the face of a serious slowdown. This year, the IT industry will hire 50,000 people less than last year. It is enforcing a zero-tolerance policy for laggards and small differences in performance ratings make a large impact on take-home salary. Financial pressures can easily crack someone who lacks nurturing emotional relationships and even a hint of a negative communication causes heightened fear and anxiety. About 80% of India's tech workforce is under 40 years of age. They are at the peak of their earning careers and have taken on significant loan repayment commitments. All these things have contributed to the heightened cases of depression among techies.

Politics & Government

16 Non-partisan independent review concludes that US engaged in torture interrogation post 9/11 Apr during US 9/11 Interrogation
A non-partisan, independent review of interrogation and detention programs in the years after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the US, conducted by an 11-member panel convened by the Constitution Project, a legal research and advocacy group, concludes that it is indisputable that the United States engaged in the practice of torture and that the USs highest officials were responsible for it. The study found that there was no firm evidence that the torturous interrogation techniques produced valuable information which could not have been obtained by other means. The review concludes that there was no justification for the torture employed and it reduced US capacity to deliver moral censure and increased the danger to US military personnel taken captive. Although the task force didnt have access to classified documents, this was the most detailed study of interrogation and detention programmes till date.

23 Malabar royals to claim Rs. 5000 crore from the Saudi government Apr Rs. 5000 Crore Claim

Forty-five descendants of the Arakkal family, erstwhile rulers of the Malabar Coast, will jointly stake a claim for Rs 5,000 crore due to them as compensation from the sultanate of Saudi Arabia. In 1971, the Saudi Government had demolished a bungalow built in 1848 by Mayin Kutty Keyi, married to Arakkal Beevi of the Page 15 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

Arakkal family; to provide shelter to Hajis from Kerala. The Saudi government, at that time, had fixed 1.4 million Saudi riyal as compensation but the amount was not released because of the row between the Keyi and Arakkal families claiming to be Keyis real heirs. However, the Arrakal family pointed it out that the Shariah follows only the marumakkathaya (matriarchal) system and according to it they were the true heirs. Later, the Keyi family withdrew its claim. A list of all 45 successors of Arakkal Beevi will be submitted to the Saudi government through a representative to be appointed with the help of the Indian consulate.

27 Sarabjit Singh, death row convict, attacked in Pakistani Jail Apr Sarabjit Singh

Sarabjit Singh, a prisoner on death row in Pakistan, has been attacked by inmates armed with bricks in Lahore's Kot Lakhpat jail. Singh is in intensive care with severe injuries on his head, abdomen, jaws and other body parts, and has been put on ventilator. Two prisoners have been charged with attempted murder. Pakistan has granted visas for four family members to visit Sarabjit. His family made a plea to allow them to take him to India for treatment. Indians throughout the country have protested the attack on Sarabjit and the incident has incited strong reaction from the government. Background: Sarabjit Singh was convicted of spying for India and involvement in a series of bomb blasts in 1990 in Pakistan in which 14 people died. His family says he is innocent and merely strayed across the border in Punjab by accident.

28 Greek parliament approves 15,000 civil service job cuts Apr Greece The Greek parliament has passed a bill which will see 15,000 state employees lose their jobs by the end of next
year. The new law will overturn the constitutional guarantee for civil servants of a job for life. Some 2,000 civil servants will lose their jobs by the end of June, another 2,000 by the end of the year, and a further 11,000 by the end of 2014. State workers who have broken rules will be targeted for dismissal, but many are expected to be replaced by younger employees in key sectors such as health. The new law is a condition for Greece to receive loans worth 8.8bn Euros and is part of continuing moves by the centre-right government to cut costs and ensure more bailout money from international creditors. The new law was vehemently opposed by protestors outside Parliament.

28 Center-right parties return to power in Iceland Apr Iceland

Icelands center-left government that restored the country to solvency after the 2008 financial crisis has been surprisingly voted out of power paving the way for the two largest center-right parties, the Independence Party and the Progressive Party to return to power. The center-right parties, which many people blamed for causing the crisis, have won at least 38 of the 63 seats in Parliament, enough to form a coalition government with a comfortable majority. The center-right government led by the Social Democrats lost even though Icelands economy has grown last year, unemployment rate now is 5 percent down from 10 percent and inflation is down to 4 percent a year from a peak of 17 percent. Although the government cut spending and raised taxes to tackle the personal debt problem, it failed to appease the voters who took out loans in foreign countries. The governments two big initiatives, rewriting Icelands Constitution and applying to join the European Union, also failed to seize the popular imagination.

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GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

29 Syrian Government campaigns to persuade United States to change sides, Prime Minister escapes bomb attack Apr Syrian Syria
Syrian Prime Minister Bashar-al Assad is waging an active campaign to persuade the United States that it is on the wrong side of the Civil War by pointing out the growing number of Islamists in the ranks of the Syrian rebels. The captured rebels are projected as vicious Islamic extremists who came from all over the world to wage Jihad in Syria and the government is unofficially relying on a Syrian-American businessman, Khaled Mahjoub, to tap into the U.S. fears of groups like Al-Qaeda. The Syrian Prime-Minister has even said that the US and Syria are partners in fighting terrorism. Although the US administration has backed the demand for Assads removal and increased non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, it has expressed a growing discomfort with the increase of radical Islamists in the Syrian rebel opposition and remains unwilling to provide armed help to the rebels and step in more forcefully. Syrian Prime Minister Wael al-Halqi on Monday, 28th April, escaped an assassination attempt when a bomb went off near his convoy in Damascus. One of al-Halqis bodyguards was killed and one of his drivers is in a critical condition. The blast exposed the governments vulnerability in the very seat of President Assads powerbase.

Science and Technology

08 India has worlds highest number of Dengue cases: study Apr Dengue

A multinational study conducted by a team of Oxford researchers and published by Nature has estimated that as many as 390 million people across the globe could be affected by Dengue, a rapidly spreading mosquitoborne viral disease, every year. The study estimated that India had the largest number of dengue cases, with about 33 million apparent infections, where the disease was severe enough to disrupt an individuals regular routine, and another 100 million asymptomatic infections occurring annually. Asia bore 70 percent of the apparent infections that took place since Asia has large number of densely populated areas suitable for disease transmission. The studys estimate of 390 million infections was much larger than WHOs estimate of 50 million infections. The model used in the study could provide a framework to estimate the burden of disease.

11 Scientists make brains transparent, enable viewing of neurons Apr Transparent Brains

Scientists at Stanford University have made a whole mouse brain, and part of a human brain, transparent so that networks of neurons that receive and send information can be highlighted in stunning color and viewed in all their three-dimensional complexity without slicing up the organ. Unlike earlier methods, this new process, called Clarity by its inventors, preserves the biochemistry of the brain so well that researchers can test it over and over again with chemicals that highlight specific structures and provide clues to past activity. This new method might help reveal the foundations of serious mental disorders like schizophrenia, autism, posttraumatic stress disorder and others. The brain is put in a soapy substance called hydrogel and an electric current is applied, which drives the solution through the brain, washing out the lipids. The brain then becomes transparent, so it may be infused with chemicals, that also have a dye attached, that show fine details of its structure and previous activity. Page 17 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

13 Worlds largest telescope to be built in Hawaii Telescope Apr Largest The University of California system, the California Institute of Technology and the Association of Canadian
Universities for Research in Astronomy have received approval from the Hawaii government to build the worlds largest telescope at the summit of Hawaiis Mauna Kea volcano. The telescopes segmented primary mirror, which is nearly 30-metre-long (100 feet), will give it nine times the collecting area of the largest optical telescopes in use today. Its images will also be three times sharper. China, India and Japan have signed on to be partners in the project and the University of Hawaii is also involved because it leases the summit land from the State of Hawaii. The project faced opposition from native Hawaiian groups and environmentalists, but has ultimately got the Hawaiian governments approval which has imposed a number of conditions including a requirement that employees be trained in culture and natural resources.

14 Scientists make laboratory engineered kidneys Apr Laboratory Grown Kidney

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital have created engineered kidneys and transplanted them into rats where they started to produce urine. The kidney is one of the most complicated organs reproduced in the laboratory. Although the reengineered kidneys were less effective than natural ones, it is a major advancement in the field of regenerative medicine. The researchers' vision is to take an old kidney and strip it of all its old cells to leave a honeycomb-like scaffold. The kidney would then be rebuilt with cells taken from the patient. Researchers followed the same process for a rat kidney which was regenerated in the laboratory. The engineered kidneys, if successfully created, have two major advantages over current organ transplants. The tissue would match the patient, so they would not need a lifetime of drugs to suppress the immune system to prevent rejection. It would also vastly increase the number of organs available for transplant, since the rejected organs could be used as templates for new ones.

25 Scientists engineer quantum biology molecules in lab Biology Apr Quantum For the first time scientists at the University of Chicago have engineered a series of molecules that show
quantum effects similar to the efficient mechanism of light transfer happening in plants. Aside from other benefits, this would lead to the production of artificial energy-transfer devices which could use the mechanism efficiently. Although, biological light-harvesting systems are very complex, the model systems engineered by the group are simpler yet manage to capture the physics involved. The discovery of this molecule series and the mechanism of energy transfer may initiate the development of synthetic light harvesters which could lead to highly efficient and green energy manufacturing units in the future.

05 World Health Organization (WHO) confirms 5 deaths from bird flu in China Apr China Bird Flu

The World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed that there have been 5 deaths from a new bird-flu virus. There have been 11 laboratory-confirmed cases of the H7N9 Bird flu virus which has been not been seen previously in humans. The WHO has however said that there has been no evidence of human-to-human Page 18 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

transmission of the virus and tests suggested that it could be treated with anti-influenza drugs like Tamiflu and Relenza. The Chinese government is closely monitoring bird flu cases and has advised people to maintain good personal hygiene including washing hands frequently and avoiding contact with sick or dead animals.

08 WikiLeaks reveals Rajiv Gandhi may have worked as middle-man in fighter aircraft deal Apr WikiLeaks
WikiLeaks in its latest revelation has said that former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi may have worked as a middleman for Swedish company Saab-Scania, which had tried to sell its Viggen fighter aircraft to India in the 1970s, much before he became Prime-Minister. However, Saab-Scania could not acquire the deal as it went to British SEPECAT Jaguar. According to the latest bunch of classified cables of the US administration released by WikiLeaks, Rajiv was considered to be a valuable negotiator because of his family connections. The first cable said that former Air Marshal OP Mehra's son-in-law was the chief negotiator for the Jet fighter deal, but it does not give his name. The Congress has denied WikiLeaks claims saying that the last line of the cable says that it couldnt be confirmed whether Rajiv was a negotiator for the deal.

08 Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher dies at 87 Apr Margaret Thatcher

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, aged 87, has died in London following a stroke. Thatcher was suffering from health related problems for the last few years. She was Prime Minister of U.K. from 1979 to 1990 and was the leader of the Conservative Party from 1975 to 1990. Thatcher was the longest serving British Prime Minister of the 20th century and earned the nickname of Iron Lady because of her tough stand on governance and foreign policy issues. She led Britain into war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands in 1982, which Britain won and resulted in her re-election in 1983. Thatcher had led her Conservative Party to three election victories and had initiated several significant changes in Britains political scenario.

17 Rare Indian pink diamond, Princie, sells for more than $ 39 million Apr Princie Diamond

One of the largest pink diamonds in the world called the Princie diamond has been purchased by an anonymous bidder from Christies auction house in New York for more than $39.3m (25m). The 34.65 carat diamond, which is supposedly the third largest pink diamond in the world, was found 300 years ago in ancient diamond mines of Golconda in southern India. The diamond was once owned by the Nizam of Hyderabad, who was proclaimed the richest man in the world by Time magazine in 1937. All four of the world's top pink diamonds have been found at Golconda, which has some of the earliest known diamond mines in the world, producing the stones as early as 800BC.

19 7.0 magnitude earthquake strikes Northern Japan and Eastern Russia Apr Japan, Russia Earthquake

A 7.0 magnitude earthquake has struck off far northern Japan and far eastern Russia around midday on Friday, 19th April. The tremor around midday on Friday was in the Pacific Ocean at a relatively shallow depth of 10 kilometers (6.2 miles). The epicenter was 58 kilometers (160 miles) east-northeast of Kurilsk, Russia, and 528 kilometers (328 miles) northeast of Nemuro, Japan. Though there might be sea changes, there were no damages. Page 19 of 20

GKCA Update 1st to 30th Apr

22 185 killed in Nigerian fighting Apr Nigeria 185 people in a fishing community were killed in a fierce fighting between the military and Boko Haram Islamic
insurgents in Nigerias northern state of Borno. The military said that the insurgents used human shield and attacked soldiers with rocket propelled grenade and sophisticated machine guns. In similar fights in the past, soldiers had been accused of shooting civilians. Boko Haram has been carrying out attacks in northern Nigeria since 2009.

23 Boston bombings suspect says older brother was the driving force behind attack Apr the Boston Bombings
Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has told investigators that his older brother Tamerlan, who was killed in the bombing, was the driving force behind last week's attack and that no international terrorist groups were behind them. Tsarnaev said that his elder brother wanted to protect Islam from attack. Investigators have said that a lot of investigation was left to confirm that no others were involved in the attack. Tsarnaev has been charged with using and conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death, and one count of malicious destruction of property by means of an explosive device resulting in death.

25 Taiwan confirms first H7N9 bird flu case Apr Bird Flu

Taiwan reported the first case of the H7N9 bird flu outside of mainland China. The 53-year-old patient, who had been working in the eastern Chinese city of Suzhou, showed symptoms three days after returning to Taiwan via Shanghai and is currently in a critical condition. Tourist arrivals in Taiwan, this season, are expected to be less after the H7N9 virus affected 100 people in the mainland, killing more than 20 of them.

25 U.N. to establish peacekeeping force for Mali Apr Mali

The United Nations Security Council has voted to establish a peacekeeping force for Mali composed of 11,200 soldiers and 1,440 police officers. The resolution says that the French Troops deployed in January to drive out Islamist Militants out of the north, will intervene, should the peacekeeping troops face an imminent and serious threat. The mandate for the force, called the Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali, or Minusma, says it will be deployed to help establish stability and, along with a European training mission, to resurrect the Malian armed forces.

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GKCA Update 1st to 31st May

Starred Articles
01 Apple Inc sells $17 billion in bonds in record deal > Apple May Corporate In a record deal, Apple Inc. sold USD 17 billion in bonds to raise money to pay shareholders in an effort to
pacify them regarding the company's shrinking profit margins and reverse a 37 percent drop in its share price during the past 7 months, as it faces tough competition in the mobile computing market. However, the downturn in Apple's stock price hasn't dampened investors' entusiasm for Apple bonds. Although, Apple has USD$145 billion in cash, enough to run the $USD 100 billion cash return programme, Apple does not plan to bring the money to the US from its overseas accounts as the federal corporate tax rate is high and as such it makes sense for Apple to borrow a large sum of money rather than pay a hefty tax bill.

02 Sarabjit Singh dies in Pakistan hospital May India > Sarabjit Singh Case

Indian death row prisoner Sarabjit Singh died of cardiac arrest in a Lahore hospital after being comatose for nearly a week following a brutal assault by other inmates of a high-security jail in Lahore. Sarabjit, 49, sustained severe injuries, including a fractured skull, when at least six prisoners attacked him in a barrack at Kot Lakhpat Jail in Lahore. The Indian government and the opposition parties have called it a cold-blooded murder and accused Pakistan of failing to provide protection to Indian prisoners languishing in Pakistani jails. Pakistan has assured India that it will hand over Sarabjit's Singh's body after completion of formalities.

03 RBI cuts lending rates by 25 basis points; still no changes in retail lending rates May Economy > RBI
The Reserve bank of India has reduced its key lending rate (repo rate) from 7.50 per cent to 7.25 per cent but has kept the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4 percent. However, the rate cut of 25 basis points was too small to have an impact on retail lending rates immediately. RBI said that the repo rate cut wasd in accordance with the measures set forth since January last year towards supporting growth in the face of gradual moderation of headline inflation. Repo rate is the rate at which banks borrow funds from the central bank. The Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) is the portion of total deposits banks are mandated to keep with the Reserve Bank of India.

04 CBI books railway minister's nephew and several others in a 10 crore bribery scam May Politics and Government > Railgate
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has booked railway minister Pawan Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla for allegedly demanding Rs. 10 crore as bribe for getting Mahesh Kumar, General Manager (Western Railways), posted as Member (Electrical) Railway Board, which is considered next to Railway General Manager in hierarchy. Singla, used to look after the Bansal's business interests and is involved in running his campaign in Chandigarh, Bansal's Lok Sabha constituency. Singla and Sandeep Goyal, a businessman and official railway contractor, were arrested in Chandigarh for allegedly accepting Rs 90 lakh as part payment from Narayan Rao Page 1 of 17

GKCA Update 1st to 31st May

Manjunath,a Bangalore-based industrialist and the conduit of Mahesh Kumar. Bansal has said that he has no business links with his nephew and denied any wrongdoing. The CBI would also question Bansals private secretary Rahul Bhandari as it has found close links between him and Vijay Singla. Ajay Garg, a close aide of Vijay Singla and an alleged middleman in the case, has also been arrested after he surrendered in a Delhi court. The CBI is also investigating the involvement of four-five more senior officers and is looking into all top-level appointments in the railway ministry in the recent past. Meanwhile, Sushil Daga, an associate of Manjunath and an accused in the case, is all set to turn approver for the CBI.

06 CBI alleges law minister and officials in the PMO changed coalgate enquiry reports May status Politics and Government > Coalgate
CBI director Ranjit Singh has filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court stating that law minister Ashwani Kumar had deleted a finding from the draft report of the enquiry about the screening committee not preparing any chart about the coal block applicants and also a sentence about the scope of the enquiry. The letter also alleged that the tentative findings about the non-existence of a system regarding specific weitage/points was deleted at the instance of the officials of the Prime Minister's Office and the Coal Ministry. The affidavit also mentions that Attorney General G. E. Vahanvati too asked for changes. The CBI's submission contradicts the stand taken by the Law Minister and the AG, who had refuted the allegation that they had suggested changes in the draft report.

06 Chinese Army pulls out from Depsang Plains in Ladakh, ends faceoff May Politics and Government > Indo-China

The India-China faceoff that started on April 15th drew to a close on Monday, May 6th after the Chinese Army withdrew from the Indian side of the LAC in Ladakh's Depsang plains. The Indian ambassador to Beijing relayed that India was ready to act tough and would cancel the tour of foreign minister Salman Khurshid to Beijing as well as the visit of the Chinsese PM Li Keqiang to India which might have forced Beijing to withdraw troops. However, there was talk of a deal about China agreeing to pull back its troops from ladakh only if India pulled down a bunker, strategically located in Chumar in Ladakh. Indian authorities said that there was no such deal and in the withdrawal tradeoff with the Chinese, the Indian Army had only pulled down a tin-shed which it had erected on April 18th, 7-8 km down from where Indian troops conduct regular patrols. China is keen to prove its ability to get along with neighbours and has said that India and China have reached an agreement to resolve the issue in the western section of the border.

10 Congress elects Siddaramaiah as Karnataka's new chief minister May Politics and Government > Karnataka CM

The Congress has elected K. Siddaramaiah as Karnatakas new chief minister through a process of secret ballot. This is the first ever instance in which the Congress party has adopted this method to select a leader. The Congress earlier this week won the Karnataka Assembly elections with a comfortable majority of 121 MLAs in the 224-member House, defeating the BJP which won only 40 seats, down by 70 compared to the 2008 poll.

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GKCA Update 1st to 31st May

11 Congress sack Aswani Kumar and Pawan Bansal and Government > Congress May Politics The Congress has sacked Law Minister Ashwani Kumar and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal to dismiss
the impression of protecting the accused ministers. The Congrss was forced to take the decision after Mr Kumar faced the charge of openly intervening in the CBIs investigation into the coalfield allocation scandal, and Bansal was found to be involved in a 10 crore Railway cash-for-jobs scam.

12 Nawaz Sharif wins Pakistan polls, likely to serve third term as Prime Minister May World > Pakistan Polls
Nawaz Sharifs Pakistan Muslim League N (PMN-L), won an outstanding victory after millions of Pakistanis braved Taliban threats and voted in the landmark election that marked the first transition from one civilian government to another in the countrys 66-year history. Unofficial election results represented a comeback for Sharif, who was deposed as prime minister in a 1999 military coup and spent years in exile. Sharif is set to serve a third term as Prime Minister and pledged on improving relations with India. Sharif also said that he would end Pakistans involvement in the US-led war on terror which might cause concern among Western leaders as it could lead to militants having greater freedom to operate in Pakistan. Sharif has invited all political parties including that of rival Imran Khan to sit together and solve the countrys problems.

13 Tata Steel to book $1.6 billion impairment charge May Corporate > Tata Steel

Tata Steel will write off goodwill and impair assets worth $ 1.6 billion, for the financial year that ended March 31st, for the loss of value of Tata Steel Europe (TSE), and other overseas assets in Thailand and South Africa. Although goodwill write off may affect its FY2013 financial performance, there will possibly be no impact on its cash flows.

13 Samsung announces superfast 5G wireless transmission breakthrough > Samsung May Corporate Samsung Electronics said that it has successfully tested superfast fifth generation (5G) wireless data
transmission of more that one gigabyte per second over a distance of two kilometres. The new technology might not be available before 2020, but once launched, would be able to transmit massive data files including high quality digital movies practically without limitation. Samsung has found out a way to harness millimeterwave bands, which had, till now, proved to be an obstacle in launching 5G transmission. 5G would eventually allow users to download an entire movie in one second.

15 India back on the Olympic fold after Indian Olympic Association accepts Olympic Committees demands May International India > IOC
India is back in the Olympic fold after the Indian Olympic Association agreed to International Olympic Committee's demands of holding fresh AGM and election and also to declare the December 5 elections, which elected Lalit Bhanot, null and void. The fresh IOA elections will be held in a month under the supervision of Election Commission. India was suspended five months ago for failing to adhere to the Olympic charter. Page 3 of 17

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16 Gold demand in India rises by 27 percent in 1st quarter May Economy > Gold

Demand for gold in India rose by 27 per cent to 256.5 tonnes during the January-March 2013 quarter, while its imports declined by 5.7 per cent to 215 tonnes. In the previous year, the demand for gold stood at 202.1 tonnes and imports at 228 tonnes. Gold demand in India for jewellery and investment is likely to remain strong. However, imports are low as stockists had already purchased heavily in the previous quarter in anticipation of rise in import duty. At the global level, gold demand fell by 13 per cent to 963 tonnes in the first quarter of 2013 as strong demand for gold jewellery, bars and coins was exceeded by substantial net outflows from gold exchange traded funds (ETFs).

17 Government implements National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy to reduce of essential drugs by 80 percent May prices India > National Pharmaceutical Pricing Policy
The government has issued the Drug Price Control Order (DPCO), paving the way for implementation of the National Pharmaceutical Pricing policy which will reduce prices of medicines by 20-25 percent and in case of some life-saving drugs by as much as 80 percent. Prices of 652 formulations under 27 therapeutic areas like anti-allergic (cetrizine), cardiac (aten), gastro-intestinal medicines (ocid), pain-killers (paracetamol) and antidiabetic drugs (insulin) are expected to come down. Others in the list include anti-fungal, anti-tuberculosis, anti-leprosy, anti-hypertensives and cancer drugs. The DPCO 2013 will regulate prices of drug formulations on the basis of a market-based mechanism, as against a cost-based system which existed till now.

19 China resumes cyber attacks on US agencies and Government > US-China May Politics Hackers working for the Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) of China have resumed attacks on US government
agencies and private organisations after remaining on the low for three months following direct accusations by the US administration. Private cyber security company, Mandiant has said that hackers have resumed attacks on many of the old victims. The hackers are behind scores of thefts of intellectual property and government documents since the past five years and have been targeting US defence contractor Lockheed Martin and companies with access to the nations power grid. The Chinese hackers had changed base and removed spying tools after being discovered in February this year. However, Chinese attack on US cyberspace seems to be back in full swing and US officials said that the matter would have to be taken up once again with Chinese authorities.

20 Yahoo to buy blogging service Tumblr for $ 1.1 bn > Yahoo May Corporate Yahoo Inc will buy blogging service Tumblr for $1.1 bn in cash. This is the largest deal made by Marissa Mayer,
since she took charge as CEO of Yahoo last July. The Tumblr team will remain unchanged and David Karp will remain the Chief Executive Officer of Tumblr. David Karp co-founded Tumblr with Marco Arment in 2007 and has a 25percent stake in the privately owned company. The $ 1.1bn price tag represents a significant increase from Tumblrs $800million valuation when it raised money from private investors.

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20 Chinese Premier LI Keqiang visits India, pledges to resolve border issue May Politics and Government > Indo-China

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited India on Sunday, 19th May, in his maiden foreign trip after assuming office. Li pledged his commitment to peace and tranquility and urged the need to end the border row. Singh conveyed to Li that incidents like the recent standoff at Ladakh could hamper relations between the two countries. It was agreed that joint representatives from the two countries would meet soon to continue discussions on a fair, acceptable and mutually acceptable boundary settlement. The two sides also discussed trade ties and other bilateral issues and signed eight agreements. Despite border tensions, China is one of India's top trading partners and both countries have already agreed to a new $100bn (65bn) bilateral trade target for 2015. Meanwhile, China has assured Pakistan that its improved relations with India and the regime change in Pakistan wont affect its healthy relations with Pakistan.

21 Indian-American teen Esha Khare invents worlds first 20-sec charger and Technology > Invention May Science An 18-year old Indian American teen, Esha Khare from Saratoga, California, has invented a tiny super-capacitor
device that fits inside mobile phones and can potentially charge a cell phone in less than 20 seconds. Esha has been awarded the Young Scientist Award by the Intel Foundation and has received a prize award of USD 50,000. The device can last for 10,000 charge-recharge cycles, compared with 1,000 cycles for conventional rechargeable batteries. The device is very flexible and can fit inside other portable electronic devices besides mobile phones.

24 India to issue 27000emergency certificates to enable Indians working in Saudi Arabia to return home May World > Saudi Arabia Nitaqat Law
India will issue 27000 emergency certificates to its citizens working in Saudi Arabia, to allow them to return home, after a new labour policy came into force there. The new law called the 'Nitaqat' law makes it mandatory for local companies to hire one Saudi national for every 10 migrant workers. There has been a rush for emergency travel documents with about 60, 000 applicants looking for one, following widespread perception that the new policy will lead to denial of job opportunities for a large number of Indians working there.

25 Scientists develop artificial skins for robots and Technology > Artificial Robot Skin May Science The European Union-funded project 'Skin-based technologies and capabilities for safe, autonomous and
interactive robots' (ROBOSKIN), has developed artificial skins for robots and new sensor technologies and management systems which will give robots an artificial sense of touch and improve the way robots work in unconstrained settings, as well as their ability to communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans. The artificial skin is modelled largely on real skin, which has a tiny network of nerves that sense or feel changes like hot/cold or rough/smooth.

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26 27 people killed in Maoist attack on Congress motorcade > Maoist Attack May India 27 people were killed and more than 30 injured when 250 Naxalites opened fire on a 16 car Congress
motorcade in Chattisgarhs Darbha valley, which is a part of Bastar region in Jagdalpur district. Among the people dead was the Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Nand Kumar Patel, his son Dinesh and former home minister of state Mahendra Karma, architect of Salwa Judam, a people's movement against Naxalism. The Maoists used country-made and sophisticated automatic weapons and fired indiscriminately. The Darbha valley has always been an area of concern for security forces and various plan s to counter the Maoist threat had to be shelved because of opposition from within the Congress. An investigation into the attacks has begun but no arrests have been made so far.

27 Economists predict Q4 growth at 4.8 percent > Growth May Economy Economists have forecasted the March Quarter GDP growth at 4.8 percent, pulling down the overall economic
expansion to a decade low of around five percent. The government however expects GDP growth for March Quarter to the tune of 5.2 percent. Till the third quarter, the economy grew 5.1 per cent. The March quarter GDP growth is expected to remain less than 5%, due largely to a reduction in government spending. However, the lower interest rate and improving investment combined with pick up in capital goods and consumer goods production and improvement in exports should result in better growth from the June quarter.

28 Iran offers oilfields on lucrative terms to prod India into buying more oil and Government > Indo-Iran Relations May Politics Iran offered oilfields on lucrative terms and a host of other benefits to prod India into buying more oil, after
India reduced its crude purchase from Iran to 13 million tonne in 2012-13 from 18 million tonne in the previous year following US and the EU sanctions which have blocked international gateways for payments. Iran has offered to re-route the Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline through an under-sea route to avoid going through Pakistan as India had previously expressed safety concerns. Alternatively, Iran offered to ship the gas in its liquid form (liquid gas) via Oman and also offered a production sharing contract to ONGC Videsh Ltd for the Farzad-B gas field, which is estimated to hold 13 Trillion cubic feet of recoverable reserves. Iran has also offered insurance cover to refineries. However, the Indian side has been skeptical about Irans assurances because of Western sanctions and the absence of any financial intermediary.

30 TOP five Indian IT companies exceed global IT services industry growth > IT Industry May Corporate The top five India-based IT services companies, TCS, Cognizant, Infosys, Wipro and HCL Technologies, grew by
13.3% to reach a combined revenue of $34.3 billion in 2012, exceeding the global IT services industry growth of 2%. The global industry recorded a growth of 7.7 percent as against a recorded growth of 21.8% percent by the five India-based IT companies. However, the growth in 2012 is much lower than that of 2011.

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31 android tablets May Corporate > Samsung Intel

Samsung Electronics to use Intel Corp Processor for one of its top-tier
Samsung Electronics has chosen an Intel Corporation processor Clover Trail+ mobile chip for at least one version of its Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. The deal comes as a major success for Intel which has long been trying to establish its footprint in the mobile market. Samsung has previously used chips designed with energy-efficient technology from the UK's ARM Holdings for its best-selling mobile devices. It employs Intel processors for its line of Microsoft Windows "ATIV" tablets, a much smaller market compared with devices based on Google Inc's Android. Now, Samsung will unveil new ATIV tablets using Intel chips at a June event in London.

31 Indias economic growth falls to 5 percent, India surpasses Japan as the worlds 3rd largest economy May Economy > Growth
Indias economic growth slowed to 4.8 percent in the January-March quarter and fell to a decade low of 5 percent for the entire 2012-13 fiscal as compared to 6.2 percent growth for the 2011-12 fiscal. Growth was primarily affected by poorly performing farm, manufacturing and mining sectors. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has said that India has recently probably surpassed Japan as the worlds third largest economy after the US and China. Until 2020 China is likely to have the highest growth rate among major countries, but could then be surpassed by India. Japan's consumer prices fell by 0.4% in April, the sixth month of decline, even as it tried to move out of years of deflation and set a 2 percent inflation target for its central bank. The core consumer price index figure, which includes oil products but excludes volatile prices of fresh food, followed a 0.5% drop in March.

Bank Specific
10 Taxpayers to never rescue a failing bank again, biggest US banks asked to less to avoid crisis May borrow Bank Bailouts
Bank bailouts in the US have been widely criticized and the common opinion is that taxpayers should never again rescue a failing bank. In order to ensure that government intervention is not required in case of a future crisis, international regulators are requiring the biggest banks to borrow less. Three years ago, the USA passed laws to liquidate a collapsing financial institution and end the perception that some banks are too big to fail. At that time, Obama had said that because of this reform, US taxpayers would never have to fund bailouts again. However, bondholders who lend money to the six biggest US banks believe that the government would once again bail out bankrupt institutions in case of a crisis and as such they are willing to accept lower returns, a marketplace subsidy worth 82 billion from 2009 through 2011. The financial advantages for the six biggest banks, Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo & Co. since the start of 2009 amounted to at least $102 billion and because of the implicit promise of bailouts, ratings agencies have boosted the credit grades of the six banks, which makes borrowing less expensive for them.

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01 Honda's excise duty payment on discounted prices comes undere scanner, to pay 164 crore more May asked Honda
The Central Board of Excise & Customs (CBEC) has served a show-cause notice on Japanese car maker Honda, demanding that it pay Rs 164 crore more as excise duty, on the grounds that the levy should have been paid on the cost of production of the cars, and not on their discounted sales price. This follows the Supreme Court judgement in the Fiat case last year, that if a company sells products at a loss for a long period because of commercial considerations or under competitive pressures, then price is not the sole consideration and excise duty should be paid on manufacturing cost plus a 'reasonable' profit margin. Honda had been facing a slump in demand in India following a shift from petrol to diesel cars and had been offering discounts on models such as the Brio and Jazz. Excise duty is an inland tax on the sale of goods produced domestically. It is paid by the manufacturer, but often passed on to the customer.

02 Bharti Airtel reports 50 percent fall in quaterly profit Airtel May Bharti Bharti Airtel's net profit fell to Rs 509 crore ($94 million) for its fiscal fourth quarter to end-March, from Rs
1006 crore reported a year earlier. Although, it was expected that the company would report a net profit of Rs 741 crore, it was cut by higher net interest costs and a tax charge. The company's revenues were in line with estimates at Rs 20,488 crore, up 1.23 per cent, as compared to Rs 20,239 crore a quarter ago.

08 India-born Ivan Menezes apointed CEO of Diageo May Diageo

India-born Ivan Menezes has been appointed as the CEO of Diageo, the world's largest drinks company and the maker of coveted brands such as Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan etc. Menezes will replace longserving CEO Paul Walsh. Ivan was frontrunner for the job after his elevation as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) last year and his appointment as CEO comes six months after he led the $2.6 billion takeover of Vijay Mallya's United Spirits Ltd. (USL). A graduate of St. Stephen's college, Menezes has studied management from IIM-A and Kellogg School of Management. Ivan's appointment as CEO reflects the growing trend among multinationals to appoint Indians for the top spot.

09 Sony Corp. expects smartphone sales to rise to 42 million this financial year Corp May Sony Sony Corp. expects that smartphone sales will rise to 42 million in the year to March 31, compared to 33
million smartphones sold in the business year just ended. Sony is trying to increase its hold and establish itself prominently at no.3 in the global smartphone market behind Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co.

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10 YouTube starts paid subscription service May You Tube

Googles You Tube, the worlds largest video site, is venturing into pay television by starting a paid subscription service with 30 content creators. It will allow creators to set subscription fees and accept advertisements, at their discretion, for the channels they create. You Tube will subsidize the development of new content offerings and will feature content from traditional TV and film producers. Till now, YouTube has spent more than $100 million to help about 150 media partners create and promote specialized YouTube video channels dedicated to topics ranging from food to sports. The launch featured children's videos from National Geographic and videos from cable channel HDNet.

14 Ranbaxy to pay $ 500 million to US Justice Department for settlement of charges May felony Ranbaxy
Gurgaon based Ranbaxy Laboratories Ltd. will pay $500 million as penalty to the US Department of Justice to settle a criminal and civil lawsuit related to the manufacture and distribution of three adulterated drugs made at two of Ranbaxys manufacturing facilities in Paonta Sahib and Dewas in India. This is the largest drug safety settlement case of a generic drug maker in the US and Ranbaxy will pay $150 million for a criminal fine and forfeiture and $350 million for civil claims.

15 Air Asia appoints Mittu Chandilya as CEO of India operations May Air Asia

Air Asia has appointed Chennai born Mittu Chandilya to head the operations of the company in India. 32 year old Mittu will be amongst the youngest CEO's to operate an airline in the country. Chandilya, educated at INSEAD in France, was formerly the head of services practices for Asia Pacific at Egon Zehnder International, an advisory firm. The appointment of the India CEO was a much awaited decision as the Home Ministry would give a clearance to Air Asia to start operations only after the appointment of the CEO and the board. The airline company has tied up with Indian partners Tata group and Telstra Tradeplace to form the joint venture and operate in India.

21 iGATE terminates employment of CEO Phaneesh Murthy for sexual misconduct May iGate
iGATE has terminated the employment of president and Chief Executive Officer Phaneesh Murthy as a result of an investigation surrounding a relationship that Murthy had with a subordinate employee, Araceli Roiz, and a claim of sexual harassment. The Board has appointed Gerhard Watzinger, former CEO of iGATE Solutions business, as President and CEO on an interim basis. In 2003, Murthy was involved in a similar sexual harassment case involving Reka Maximovitch, his former executive secretary at Infosys, where he was head of sales .Reka had filed a lawsuit for sexual harassment and wrongful termination of employment. Infosys sacked Phaneesh and settled the lawsuit out of court for $3 million.

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30 FIPB to allow Jet-Etihad deal only after clarity on the issue of control in a May firm
Jet-Etihad Deal
The Foreign Investment promotion Board (FIPB) has said that it would give its approval to the Jet-Etihad deal, only after the Centre clarifies the issue of control in a firm which is in line with the new Companies Bill. Currently, the Finance Ministry, in consultation with the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP), is in the process of defining control in companies. According to DIPP, if 51% equity is held by the domestic shareholder, the company is seen as Indian and controlled by it. Once the Centre clearly defines control in a firm, along with the shareholding, the stakeholders agreement would also be examined to see whether any special management rights have been conferred to the minority stakeholder that allows it to control the company. This means that even if Jet amends its Articles Of Association (AOA) in such a manner that it complies with SEBI rules, it would have to wait for approval from the FIPB.

30 Chinas Shuanghui to take over US pork producer Smithfield Foods in a $ 4.7 deal May billion US-China
Chinas biggest pork firm Shuanghui International will take over USAs biggest pork producer Smithfield Foods in a $ 4.7 billion deal, which is the largest takeover of an US company by a Chinese rival. Shuanghui has agreed to pay cash for Smithfield Foods, which including debt, values the firm at $7.1bn. The deal highlights the growing power of Chinese firms and their desire to set a strong foothold on the global market through the use of global resources. Smithfield said it has accepted Shuanghui's bid of $34 per share for the company. However, rival bidders may emerge since Smithfield has another 30 days to hold talks with other interested parties.

13 RBI unearths various discrepancies in banking operations May RBI
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has found out various unethical practices of banks including non-compliance of KYC norms and fictitious PAN in its probe following the Cobrapost sting operation which accused banks of money laundering practices. RBI has completed its investigation and has said that it would take necessary steps on the banks for violating prudential banking norms.

16 Japan achieves robust growth rate, Europe falls deeper into recession May Japan-Europe

In stark contrast to Europe which has fallen deeper into recession, Japan ended two decades of stagnation and posted a robust growth rate of 3.5 percent helped by new measures adopted by Japans Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Since taking office in December, Mr. Abe has pushed the three-arrowed approach which involves a strong expansionary monetary policy, increased fiscal spending and structural changes to improve competitiveness. The fall in yen against the dollar, have improved exports along with rising consumer sentiment and household spending. All these have helped Japan come back remarkably from back to back recession in 2011 and 2012. In reality, the more countries adopt austerity measures, the more the debt ratio increases. However, Europe, Page 10 of 17

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seems reluctant to follow the Japanese model of growth and particularly in Germany, the hostility towards unconventional measures is greater than in any European society. German economists feel that the period of retrenchment is near and the austerity measures would yield promised gains very soon.

23 Finance Ministry agrees to pay oil subsidy bill of Rs. 40,000 crore May Oil Subsidy

The Finance ministry has agreed to pay Rs. 40,000 crore of pending subsidy bill to the public sector oil marketing companies for the last fiscal but has laid down a condition that the pricing of oil products would be reviewed by a committee, that will give its report within two months. The finance ministry had suggested that petrol and diesel to be priced at a rate they can fetch in the export market, rather than current practice of pricing the fuels after adding transportation and customs duty to the international price. However, the government would retain the present system of trade parity pricing for the public sector companies by claiming it would generate the surplus necessary for investments in the sector which implies that the government will stick to the current method of calculating retail prices of petrol and diesel.

31 New RBI norms to lead to a surge in bad loans May RBI The Reserve Bank of India has said that from April 2015, banks would no longer have the freedom to relax
repayment norms for financially distressed companies and would have to classify their loans as nonperforming assets which might lead to an increase in bad loans. Classifying a loan as a bad loan forces the bank to set aside a large portion out of its earnings to make up for loss arising out of a potential default. However, RBI has made exceptions for project delays in infrastructure and commercial real estate. RBI has also asked banks to increase provisions on loans restructured from June 2013 to 5% from the present requirement of 2.75% and has made it mandatory for banks to obtain a personal guarantee on all restructuring cases in future.

12 Tesco, Walmart and Carrefour seek clarity from the government on retail FDI norms May Retail FDI
Retail giants Walmart and Carrefour have sought written clarifications from the Indian government on certain rules guiding multi-brand retail, including those related to compulsory sourcing of inputs from the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and investing in back-end infrastructure. The retailers want written assurances from the government so that their FDI proposals get easy approvals. One of the main worries of the foreign retailers is that their suppliers may grow in size and cease to be SMEs once they start supplying to them. Although retail chain Tesco hadnt asked the government for a written clarification, it had wanted to know if sourcing from farmers would qualify as domestic sourcing.

21 Dawoods man masterminded betting syndicate in IPL, Vindoo Dara Singh arrested for links with bookies May IPL Spot Fixing
The mastermind of the cricket betting syndicate is said to be a Dubai-based Dawood Ibrahim man named Sunil Ramchandani alias Sunil Dubai while the principal bookie referred to as 'Jupiter' in phone intercepts is a person Page 11 of 17

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called Chandresh. He is reportedly close to several politicians, builders and police officers. Police are probing Dawoods connection with the bookies and feel that the betting syndicate extends to Karachi, Dubai, Jaipur, Kolkata and Ahmedabad. Bollywood actor Vindoo Randhawa, son of late wrestler-actor Dara Singh, was on Tuesday arrested in connection with the IPL spot-fixing scandal after he was found to be in contact with the bookies. Background: The Special Cell of Delhi police had arrested Sreesanth, his Rajasthan Royals teammates - Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan on May 15 for allegedly indulging in spot-fixing in at least three IPL matches.

27 Amway India Chairman and two directors arrested on charges of financial irregularities May Chit Fund Fraud
Network marketing firm Amway's India Chairman and CEO William S Pinckney and two company directors, Sanjay Malhotra and Anshu Budhraja, were arrested in Kozhikode on charges of financial irregularities following a complaint by a woman, who claimed to have incurred losses through the network and on the basis of three cases registered against the company last year. Last year, the crime branch had conducted searches at Amway offices at Thrissur, Kozhikode and Kannur as part of its crackdown on money chain activities. The godowns at these centres were closed and goods produced were also seized.

30 CBI wants Anil Ambani and wife to be summoned in 2G spectrum trial May 2G Spectrum Trial

The CBI has asked a Delhi court to summon Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group chairman Anil Ambani, his wife Tina Ambani and 15 others as prosecution witnesses in connection with the 2G Spectrum trial. The CBI made the plea after some bank documents pertaining to money transaction of Rs. 997 crore in October 2007 between the DB Group Company and Reliance ADA Group companies, surfaced. Top Reliance executives Gautam Doshi, Surendra Pipara and Hari Nair are facing trial in the case along with Swan Telecom promoters Shahid Usman Balwa and Mr. Vinod Goenka, Managing Director of DB Realty Ltd. The CBI had alleged that RTL used Swan Telecom, an ineligible firm, as its front company to get 2G licenses and the costly radio waves.

Politics & Government

03 Former Health Minister Anbumani Ramadoss arrested May Hate Speech
Former union minister and PMK youth wing leader Anbumani Ramadoss was arrested by Tamil Nadu police in connection with an alleged hate speech case filed against him. Ramadoss made this speech at a public meeting last year. Ramadoss blamed the AIADMK, calling the arrests an act of political vendetta and urged party cadres to hold peaceful protests against the arrests.

08 US government directly balmes China's military for cyberattacks May US-China

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The US government has directly accused the Chinese government and military of cyberattacks on US government computer systems and defence contractors, saying one motive could be to map military capabilities that could be exploited during a crisis. Although almost 90% of cyber espionage in the US originates in China, the US government has till now avoided directly accusing the Chinese government and military of unleashing cyberattacks on the US. China's military has denied the allegations and said that the two countries should cooperate on the global threat of cybercrime.

Science and Technology

02 Harvard scientists invent world's smallest flying robot May Flying Robot
Scientists of Harvard University have created a robot, the size of a fly, that can perform almost accurate movements and has the same agility as a common fly. This "robo-fly", built from carbon fibre, weighs a fraction of a gram and has super-fast electronic "muscles" to power its wings. Just like a real fly, the robot's thin, flexible wings beat approximately 120 times every second. In future, the robo-fly can be used in rescue operations like navigating through tiny spaces in collapsed buildings or environmental monitoring to sense trace chemicals or other factors and could also be used like real insects to assist in the pollination of crops.

02 Scientists develop digital camera with compund eye-like lenses Lenses Digital Camera May Compound A digital camera that has a lens that very closely mimics the compound eye of arthropods in all respects
wide-angle field of view of nearly 160 degrees, low aberration, high sharpness of vision, and infinite depth of field has been developed by a team of scientists led by Young Min Song from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, U.S. Compound eyes of arthropods are by default hemispherical and have multiple lenses. Digital cameras available today have a planar sensor with a single lens and the biggest challenge that the scientists faced was in developing such a hemispherical sensor that has multiple microlenses. They took advantage of the recent developments in stretchable electronics to achieve this.

05 NASA's curiosity rover back to work after a week-long communication gap May NASA Curiosity Rover

NASAs Curiosity rover is back in work and within the command of NASA scientists, after a long communication gap since early April, when Mars slipped behind the sun from Earth's perspective. The Sun can disrupt communications between the two planets in this alignment, which is known as a Mars solar conjunction. Curiosity landed inside Mars's huge Gale Crater in August last year, kicking off a two-year surface mission to determine if Mars has ever been capable of supporting microbial life.

07 India tops list of most number of newborns who die on the first day Deaths May Newborn A report by US-based 'Save the Children' which ranks 176 countries on maternal and child mortality, says that
more newborns die on the first day in India than in any other country. Every year, over 309,300 children (29% of global share) in India don't live beyond the first day because of complications associated with preterm birth, hygiene and maternal health. Despite being more populated, China ranks 4th and accounts for only 5% of the Page 13 of 17

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global share of first-day deaths. Nearly two-thirds of all first-day deaths occur in just 10 countries and most of these countries have very large populations like India, China and Indonesia. Other countries high up on the list are Pakistan, Afghanistan and African nations like Nigeria and Ethiopia. Just 1% of the global first-day deaths occur in developed countries and US tops that list.

12 $325,000 hamburger made from cultured meat developed in laboratory May Cultured Meat

Dr. Mark Post of Maastricht University has created a five-ounce hamburger assembled from tiny bits of beef muscle tissue grown in a laboratory. The idea of creating actual meat in the laboratory and not a substitute made from soybeans and other protein sources has long been a subject of discussion and Dr. Post has found it extremely difficult and expensive to create cultured meat from stem cells in the laboratory. His burger consists of about 20,000 thin strips of cultured muscle tissue and the burger was created at a phenomenal cost of 250,000 euros or about $325,000, provided by a donor who so far has remained anonymous. Full-scale production of cultured meat could greatly reduce water, land and energy use, and emissions of methane and other greenhouse gases, compared with conventional raising and slaughtering of cattle or other livestock. However full scale production of cultured meat such that it could be used alongside conventional mate and compete with it in price is a long way off.

17 Scientists make 3D images without digital camera Images May 3D Scientists from the University of Glasgows department of physics and astronomy have found a way to make
sophisticated 3D images without using the conventional digital cameras. Their system uses simple, cheap detectors which have just a single pixel to sense light instead of the millions of pixels used in the imaging sensors of digital cameras. The technology could open up affordable forms of 3D imaging and open up new possibilities including medicine and geography.

23 Government gives go-ahead to quadricycles to ply as public transport May vehicles Quadricycles
A government panel has given the go-ahead for the quadricycle to ply as a public transport vehicle within city municipal limits. Quadricycles are considered to be safer than three-wheeler as they have fully enclosed body structure with hard top and doors. Their maximum speed limit and engine capacity are considerably lower than that of a regular car. Quadricycles will have to carry a Q sign in order to distinguish them from cars. However, these vehicles are unlikely to be allowed as personal transport.

24 Cockroaches evolve taste buds that make sweet insecticide baits taste bitter May Cockroach
North Carolina State University entomologists have discovered cockroaches aversion to glucose, the simple sugar that is a popular ingredient in cockroach-bait poison. Glucose set off bitter receptors in cockroach taste buds, causing them to avoid foods that bring on this taste bud reaction. This aversion eventually spreads to offspring, resulting in increasingly large groups of cockroaches that reject glucose and any baits made with it. The tests showed the unexpected electrophysiological reactions that glucose stimulates both sugar and bitter receptor neurons, confirming behavioural tests that showed cockroaches quickly fleeing from glucose when presented with it. Page 14 of 17

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28 Hospitals resort to technology and other innovative ways to compel staff to hands May wash Hand Hygiene Among Hospital Workers
Hospitals are using various methods to promote a basic tenet of infection prevention, hand-washing or handhygiene. With hospital-acquired infections costing $30 billion and leading to 100,000 patient deaths a year, hospitals are willing to reduce risk of infection by all means. Without encouragement, hospital workers wash their hands as little as 30 percent of the time that they interact with patients. So, workers are resorting to monitoring via video, training hand-washing coaches, interactive badges, handing out rewards like free pizza and admonishing with red coupons as in a soccer match. Hospitals are using Radio-frequency ID chips that note when a doctor has passed by a sink and undercover monitors to watch whether their colleagues are watching their hands for the requisite 15 seconds. All this effort is to coax workers into using more soap and water, or alcohol-based sanitizers like Purell. The incentive to do something is strong under new federal rules which say that hospitals will lose Medicare money when patients get preventable infections.

23 Pakistani umpire Asad Rauf withdrawn from Champions Trophy May Spot- Fixing
Pakistani Umpire, Asad Rauf, who has been on the ICCs elite panel of umpires, has been withdrawn from the Champions trophy to be held in England in June, after media reports said that the umpire is being investigated upon by police in India following a recent spot-fixing scandal. Rauf was one of the umpires in the controversial Indian Premier League match that saw Rajasthan Royals players S Sreesanth, Ajit Chandila and Ankeet Chavan arrested for alleged spot-fixing.

26 Government to put in place anti-fixing law by August Law May Anti-Fixing The government has said that it will put in place an anti-fixing law by August to tackle match fixing and spot
fixing but ruled out promulgation of an ordinance on it. The government will hold discussions with all political parties and other stake holders to ensure smooth passage of the Bill in parliament.

02 Former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf arrested over killing of Baloch leader May Pervez Musharraf Arrest
Pakistani police on Thursday arrested and interrogated former president Pervez Musharraf, over the killing of Baloch leader Akbar Bugti in a 2006 military operation. Musharraf was the army chief when the operation against Bugti was ordered and a Balochistan court had issued a warrant for his arrest in 2011. Since his return to Pakistan in March, Musharraf has also been arrested for detaining more than 60 judges during the 2007 emergency and over the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Page 15 of 17

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03 Prosecutor investigating Benazir Bhutto murder case shot dead May Pakistan

Chaudhry Zulfiqar Ali, the top prosecutor investigating the murder of Pakistan's ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and the 2008 Mumbai attacks, died in hospital after being shot dead by unidentified gunmen as he was driving from his Islamabad home to a court hearing in the Bhutto case in Rawalpindi. Police have not speculated on a reason for the shooting.

06 Radical Islamists clash with authorities in Dhaka, 15 people dead May Bangladesh

Radical Islamists of the Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing, thousands of members of the Hefazat-e-Islam threw Molotov cocktails and set on fire and looted banks and offices and also burnt down scores of vehicles, including those belonging to police and paramilitary forces on 5th May in Dhaka, Bangladesh. BNP chief and former Premier Khaleda Zia, also lent support to the radicals asking her supporters to rally around the radicals. In a decisive drive, the joint forces of police, paramilitary Bangladesh Border Guard (BGB) and the elite Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) closed in on the thousands of Hefajat activists and drove them out of Dhaka. Hefajat had placed a list of demands including curbs on womens rights, including free mixing between men and women in public, abolition of the national women development policy and enactment of anti-blasphemy law, which the Sheikh Hasina government refused to accept.

13 Global retailers agree on safety plan for Bangladesh factories Garment Industry May Bangladesh Several of the worlds largest apparel companies have agreed to a plan to help pay for fire safety and building
improvements after Rana Plaza factory complex which housed international garment companies collapsed and led to the death of more than 1,100 people, mostly workers. The plan is endorsed by H & M, the largest purchaser of garments from Bangladesh and Inditex, owner of the popular Zara chain. Dutch retailer C & A and British retailers Primark and Tesco have also joined the agreement. Bangladesh has the worst practices in the global garment industry and international trade unions and workers alike have welcomed the agreement. PVH, the parent company of Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger and Izod, announced it would sign the deal, and also contribute $2.5 million to underwrite factory safety improvements. Meanwhile, Bangladeshs cabinet approved changes in labor laws as part of efforts to comply with international labour standards and improve on-the-job conditions.

16 Bangladesh building collapse accident prompts global textile industry to search for new locations May Textile Industry
The Rana Plaza collapse in Bangladesh, considered the deadliest industrial accident in the global garment industry, that left 1127 people dead, has prompted major players in the global garment industry to shun Bangladesh and search for other locations. Western executives of top textile and retail companies are visiting Cambodia, Indonesia and Vietnam to search for potential new suppliers. Along with the recent factory collapse, a lethal factory fire in Bangladesh last November, 33 regional or national strikes there since January, hundreds of deaths in factional street fighting there since February, have left multinational corporations Page 16 of 17

GKCA Update 1st to 31st May

scrambling for other options. Yet safety problems could exist anywhere and many social activists feel that shifting focus to other countries was an excuse to avoid improving safety standards in Bangladesh. Garment manufacturing makes up a fifth of the economy in Bangladesh and four-fifths of its exports and Bangladesh is desperately dependent on continued export orders to stop soaring unemployment and possibly further political unrest.

18 Immigrants staying in America face risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes May Health
Immigrants living in America, since a long time, face high rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes and their American-born children tend to live shorter lives than their parents. Still, the foreign-born Hispanics, Americas largest immigration group live about 3 years longer than their American born counterparts. Gradual adoption of American lifestyle - fast food, smoking and drinking leads to a variety of diseases and reduces their life span. With fast-food being available easily, Children lose their taste for traditional Mexican healthy food such as cactus and beans. 15-20 years ago, as disposable earning increased, fast-food fare along with its taste, was also a sign of success, a family treat that new earnings put in reach. Today, fast-food has become a necessity to match Americas frantic work pace. Food habits advised by doctors, which consists of more fiber and less meat, were exactly the lifestyle habits that immigrants were normally keeping. That is why immigrants who have less education and lower income, factors usually associated with worse health, tend to live longer than their American counterparts.

23 Soldier hacked to death and beheaded in London May Soldier Beheading

A serving soldier was hacked to death in broad daylight, in Woolwich, south-east London, by two armed men who asked shocked passers-by to take their photographs as they beheaded their victim with a machete-style knife. Eye witness accounts said that the attackers chanted Allahu Akbar as they beheaded the soldier and one of them was seen on the witnesses video making political statements and warning of more violence. The two accused, Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were shot and captured by the police. Adebolajo had been previously arrested in Kenya in 2010 with five others near the countrys border with Somalia. Police believed Adebolajo was going to work with al-Shabab, which is the Somali-based cell of the militant Islamist group al-Qaeda.

24 Obama defends drone strikes as an act of self defence against terrorists May US Drone Strikes

US President Barack Obama has defended drone attacks as a just war of self defence against militants and as a campaign that has made America safer. He also defended the drone strikes on four US citizens saying that America was at war with an organization which could kill as many American citizens if America didnt strike first. The US administration said that drone strikes were sanctioned only after taking into consideration that capture wouldnt be feasible and civilians wouldnt be hurt. He also mentioned his long-standing commitment to close the detention centre at the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

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Starred Articles
01 Narayana Murthy returns as Infosys executive chairman Jun Corporate > Infosys
The Infosys board has announced that it is bringing back N R Narayana Murthy as the executive chairman with effect from June 1. The decision comes at a time when Infosys has a revenue growth far below that of peers TCS, Cognizant and HCL. Murthy had founded the company and retired in 2011. Murthys team will include his son Rohan Murthy as executive assistant. K V Kamath, who was appointed non-executive chairman on Murthy's retirement in 2011, will step down from his position and take up the position of lead independent director. The Board said that the decision was taken keeping in mind the requests from shareholders to strengthen the executive leadership and Murthys vast experience and entrepreneurial abilities would enable him to lead the company and provide strategic direction.

02 FDI inflows dip by 38% to $22.4 billion in 2012-13 Jun Economy > FDI

Government initiatives to promote India as an investment destination seem to have failed as FDI inflows registered 38 per cent decline to $22.42 billion in 2012-13 compared to the previous year. FDI inflows were worth $35.12 billion in 2011-12. The government had taken several policy decisions such as allowing FDI in multi-brand retail and civil aviation sectors and seeking legislative approval for increasing FDI cap in insurance and pension sectors to attract foreign investment. Decline in foreign investments could put pressure on the country's balance of payments and may also impact the value of the rupee.

03 Account Deficit Jun Economy > Gold Imports

Government likely to curb gold imports to check widening of Current

The government is likely to take more steps to curb rising imports of Gold, which may include a ban on sale of gold coins by banks, after various other steps taken by the RBI and the government to bring down the CAD failed to yield results. Remarkable rise in Gold imports, which stood at 162 tonnes in May alone, have caused the CAD to widen to alarming proportions. Last month, the RBI had imposed curbs on gold import by banks and also imposed restrictions on them and non-banking finance companies (NBFCs) to check loans against gold coins as well as units of gold ETFs (exchange traded funds).

03 Violent anti-government protests break out in Turkey Jun World > Turkey

Major protests broke out all over Turkey and thousands of protestors took to the streets against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who after 10 years in office, is seen as an uncompromising figure with undue influence in every sphere of Turkish life and labeled a dictator. Around 10,000 people protested in Taksim Square in Istanbul, calling on Mr. Erdogans government to resign and around7000 people protested in capital Ankara, where the protests turned violent with protestors throwing fire bombs and police firing tear gas. More than 1750 protestors have been detained. Mr. Erdogan called the protests ideological, an extremist fringe and manipulated by an opposition that was unable to secure victory at the elections.

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06 RIL to invest Rs 1.5 lakh crore over three years Jun Corporate > RIL

Reliance Industries on Thursday announced an investment of Rs 1.5 lakh crore in core business of petrochemicals and oil and gas as well as in retail and telecom sectors in the next 3 years. The investments span oil and gas exploration and production, refining and marketing, petrochemicals, retail and broadband and digital services. RIL's retail business has crossed Rs. 10,000 crore and has achieved break-even.

07 Foreign Retailers not allowed franchisee route in multi-brand retailing Jun India > FDI

The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has said that foreign retailers will not be allowed to franchise their stores, and will have to put 50 per cent of their investments in back-end infrastructure specifically for the chain they are setting up. Investments in multiple infrastructure companies would not be counted as investing 50 per cent in the back-end infrastructure. The front-end retail stores must also be set up as an additionality, and not through acquisition of existing stores and investment in the equity of the existing infrastructure company will not be treated towards the fulfillment of the conditionality of 50 percent investment in back-end infrastructure. The mandatory 30 per cent sourcing from small industries will be counted only for sales through the front-end stores and the sourcing condition pertains only to manufactured and processed products.

10 Rupee hits all-time low of 58.98 Jun Economy > Rupee

The rupee fell to an all-time low of 58.98 per dollar intra-day on Tuesday, 11th June, at the foreign exchange market. However, dollar selling by public sector banks and exporters prevented the Indian currency from dipping below the 59 per dollar mark. Concerns related to widening trade and Current Account Deficit have led to a sharp fall in the rupee. Indias heavy dependence on fickle Foreign Institutional Investments (FIIs), to bridge the wide Current Account Deficit (CAD) has made it vulnerable to such potential developments.

11 BJP appoints Narendra Modi chairman of National Election Campaign Advani quits but later takes back resignation Jun Committee, Politics and Government > BJP
The BJP has appointed Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi as chairman of the National Election Campaign Committee, enforcing the belief that the party leadership and workers consider Modi as the best person to take on the UPA in the 2014 elections. In the evening following Modis appointment, senior BJP leader L K Advani, quit from all party posts which hinted at his displeasure over Modis elevation as the campaign leader for the 2014 Parliamentary elections. Following a two-day crisis, Advani agreed to take back his resignation after RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat spoke to him and assured him that all his concerns regarding functioning of the party, would be properly addressed. However, the BJP top brass unanimously agreed that there was no question of revoking Modis appointment.

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12 USAs secret surveillance programme revealed, global phone and internet of millions compromised Jun records World > US Secret Surveillance
Secret documents about an US government secret surveillance programme called Prism has been leaked, which reveal that the US National Security Agency and the FBI had been secretly obtaining the call records of millions around the world and tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading US Internet companies, including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft Corp and Google Inc., to extract massive amounts of data including audio, video, photographs, emails, documents and connection logs. The US government has defended Prism as an internal government computer system designed to sort through court-supervised collection of data, and that Congress has been briefed 13 times on the programs since 2009. The hearings of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) are closed to the public, and, while records of the proceedings are kept, those records are also not available to the public. However, it is interesting to note that a poll showed a majority of Americans (56%) saying they can live with the National Security Agency (NSA) phone-tracking program to investigate terrorism. Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Facebook have denied the allegations that the government has direct access to their servers or data, saying that they only comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. Google, Facebook and Microsoft have asked the government for permission to reveal details about the classified requests they receive for the personal information of foreign users. Edward Snowden, an US national security contractor, was the whistle blower behind the secret surveillance programme. The US administration has registered a case against Snowden and hell potentially face a criminal sentence. Snowden had been hiding in Hong Kong, when he leaked the secrets. Russia has stepped up to offer asylum to Snowden although Snowden has till now not made any such requests. The entire surveillance programme might put the US in the face of a debate, since the US itself opposes similar programmes and had accused the Chinese military of cyber attacks on American corporations and citizens, a few months back.

16 Leaked documents show Britain and US tracked diplomats at world Jun conferences Politics and Government > Secret Surveillance
Barely a week after the US secret surveillance programme was leaked by Snowden, the Guardian newspaper has disclosed a new set of classified documents that reveal that American and British intelligence agencies had eavesdropped on world leaders at conferences in London in 2009,including that of Dmitri A. Medvedev, then the Russian president and now the prime minister. The agencies monitored the e-mail and phones of other countries representatives at two London conferences, in part by setting up a monitored Internet cafe for the participants. The revelations came before a meeting of the G8 Summit was to open in Northern Ireland, where some of the leaders who were intelligence targets four years ago will be in attendance.

16 Unemployment rate increases in China as economic growth falters Jun Economy > China

Chinas faltering economic growth has resulted in a weak job market as a record seven million students are set to graduate from universities and colleges across China in the coming weeks, but their job prospects appear bleak. Companies are flooded with job applications but there are very few posts to offer. The Chinese Page 3 of 16

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government has ordered schools, government agencies and state-owned enterprises to hire more jobless but educated youths temporarily to help relieve joblessness. There is a huge demand for blue-collar jobs as compared to white-collar jobs and while the wages for blue-collar jobs have increased manifold, for the whitecollar workers, it has barely stayed steady or even declined. Although the Chinese economy has grown at a much faster pace than in the West, Chinas main problem lies in the sheer growth in graduates every year. All these graduates are reluctant to join small private companies or set up new companies which have further contributed to unemployment.

16 Hassan Rowhani wins Irans Presidential elections Jun World > Iran

Moderate cleric Hassan Rowhani has achieved a landslide victory in Irans Presidential elections, winning more than 50 percent of the vote beating five hard-liners. His victory has come as a surprise to the outside world and people all over Iran have erupted in celebrations. Though Rowhani cannot be categorized as a reformer, he can certainly be called a moderate conservative. Rowhanis first priority would be to resolve the differences between the leadership and Irans citizens, strengthen Irans failing economy and ease international sanctions. Rowhanis pragmatic approach is seen in the way he handled student protests, the aftermath of devastating earthquakes, or in his stint as nuclear negotiator, working to ease international pressure as Iran moved forward with its nuclear programme. Rowhani wants to renew talks with the West over the nuclear program, which had failed under President Ahmadinejad. Another challenge for Rowhani would be to resolve issues such as relations with the neighbouring Gulf countries and Irans involvement in the Syria crisis. Rowhanis election would likely mark important changes in Iran and could soften its stand on regional issues. But it all depends on how much the president-elect will be able to disengage himself from the powerful control of the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini and follow his own policy.

16 JD (U) ends ties with BJP; post split regional parties moot for third front idea Jun Politics and Government > BJP-JD (U) Split
The 17-year old alliance between the JD (U) and the BJP under the banner of the National Democratic Alliance ended on June 16th, with JD (U) announcing to break ties. The split happened after Narendra Modis appointment as BJPs election campaign chief and his probable selection as the NDAs prime ministerial candidate angered the JD (U). Chief Minister Nitish Kumar called on Governor DY Patil and recommended removal of 11 BJP ministers including deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi, while JD (U) president Sharad Yadav announced his resignation as convener of the NDA.

Post split, regional parties are looking at the possibility of establishing a third front. Trinamool leader and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had broached the idea to Nitish Kumar and Biju Janata Dal chief Naveen Patnaik, and the effort has met with the approval of Telugu Desam Party president Chandrababu Naidu and even UP chief minister Akhilesh Yadav, a Samajwadi Party leader. However, the major obstacle to a third front lies in the divergent political views of the parties involved on every national issue as well as the the egos of the personalities mooting for the front.

18 Ratan Tata to be chief advisor to Air Asia India, former TCS chief Ramadorai Chairman Jun named Corporate > Air Asia India
Ratan Tata, chairman emeritus of Tata Sons, will be the chief advisor to AirAsia India, a new venture that Malaysian airline is setting up with the Tatas as investors. Tony Fernandes, founder and chief executive officer Page 4 of 16

GKCA Update 1 to 30th June


of AirAsia, has said that it has been tough to persuade Tata to take up the post of chief advisor and his massive experience would help Air Asia India plan a successful run. Former TCS chief S. Ramadorai has been named the Chairman of the airline. Previously, AirAsia India had announced the name of its new CEO Mittu Chandilya.

19 China builds worlds fastest supercomputer Jun Science and Technology > Super Computer

China has built the world's fastest supercomputer, which is almost twice the speed of the previous recordholder from the US. The Tianhe-2, which means Milky Way 2, has been developed by the National University of Defence Technology in central China's Changsha city and is capable of 33,860 trillion calculations per second. The news was revealed in the semi-annual TOP500 listing of the world's fastest supercomputers and it underlines Chinas rise as a science and technology powerhouse.

24 Devastating floods break out in Uttarakhand, more than 1000 dead Jun India > Uttarakhand Floods

A massive cloudburst and heavy rainfall from 14th -17th June near the revered Kedarnath shrine in Uttarakhand triggered large flash floods and massive landslides that ravaged the hills of Uttarakhand and caused heavy destruction to life and property. The number of casualties was more than 1000 as thousands of devotees visited Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath, the hallowed Hindu Chardham (four sites) pilgrimage centers. Entire villages and settlements such as Gaurikund and the market town of Ram Bada, a transition point to Kedarnath, have been obliterated, while the market town of Sonprayag suffered heavy damage and loss of lives. With vast stretches of mountain roads and bridges cut off, around 70000 pilgrims and tourists and thousands of locals were stranded in the hills. Flooding of the Dhauliganga and the Mahakali rivers in Nepal also caused extensive damage to life and property. Locals in Nepal blamed the floods on the rapid release of water from the Dhauliganga Dam, located on the Indian side. India refuted the claim and attributed the flooding to heavy rainfall on the river catchment area. Rescue operations: The IAF has airlifted a total of 10,731 persons till now and around 6500 people are still left stranded in relief camps and waiting to be rescued. . The Army, Air Force, Navy, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Border Security Force, National Disaster Response Force, Public Works Department, local administrations and several NGOs worked together for quick rescue operations. Food, water and medical supplies have been made available through air drops to meet basic needs. Financial aid: Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, has announced a Rs. 1000 crore aid package for disaster relief efforts in the state. Several state governments have announced financial assistance and United States government has announced financial aid of USD 1, 50,000 to the NGOs working in the area. Present situation: Heavy rains continued to trouble rescue missions. Uttarakhand's Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna said that the floods had set back the state by at least three years in terms of development and there is an initial estimated loss of Rs. 3000 crore. Rs. 5 crore in proceedings from the Kedarnath temple deposited with the State Bank of India, Kedarnath branch, was washed away in the floods. The police have recovered Rs. 83 lakh from a man, which they believe is part of the 5 crore. There were reports of rings being stolen after cutting the fingers of Page 5 of 16

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the victims. Government agencies and priests of Kedarnath temple are planning mass cremation of the hundreds of victims, who are identified or unclaimed till now as the decomposed bodies might spark off an epidemic.

25 Snowden charged with theft of government property, Russia refuses to arrest or extradite whistleblower Jun World > US Secret Surveillance Leaks
Edward J. Snowden, the former US National Security Agency contractor who had leaked classified documents about an US secret surveillance programme, has been charged with violating the Espionage Act and stealing government property for disclosing classified information. The charges against Snowden carry a maximum prison sentence of 10 years, for a total of 30 years. Snowden was believed to be hiding in Hong Kong when he leaked the documents. The American authorities had asked Hong Kong to detain Snowden till the time an indictment and an extradition request are prepared. However, China refused to arrest Snowden and allowed him to fly to Russia. Snowden has been at the transit lounge of a Moscow airport for the past two days. Russian authorities have lashed back at US criticism for sheltering Snowden saying that Snowden had not crossed the Russian border. Russia also said that Snowden is a free man and Russia had no reason to apprehend or extradite him.

25 Protests break out in Brazil, with 8, 00,000 in streets Jun World > Brazil Protests
Protests: Anger over a hike in public transport fares sparked off protests in Brazil which gradually gathered steam as a protest movement over the quality of public services and the high cost of staging the World Cup at the expense of basic needs. It became the biggest street protests in Brazil since the last 20 years, as 8, 00,000 people rallied across the country. Police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, to break the protestors. Although the controversial transit fare hikes were cancelled, it failed to placate the demonstrators. Protesters rallied against the rampant corruption within the political class and demanded higher funding for education and health and a cut in salaries of public officials. Reforms proposed: Brazil President Dilma Rousseff proposed a referendum of political reforms focusing on five broad areas: Fiscal responsibility, investing 100% of Brazil's oil royalties in education, improvement in the health sector, establishing an assembly to eventually amend Brazil's constitution and improving the state of public transport and lowering costs. Hatred against soccer: Brazil, a five time world-cup winner, where soccer reflects unparalled pride and common bond, has become an object of hate. A growing number of protesters are telling fans around the globe to boycott the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Some of the nations most revered heroes have become targets of rage. Protesters criticized former soccer greats Pele and Ronaldo after Pele called on Brazilians to forget the protests and a video showed Ronaldo commenting that World Cups are accomplished with stadiums, not hospitals. The protestors have asserted that the protests have no political connection and are entirely a social movement of the common Brazilians. As in all recent protests throughout the world, social media has played a key role in spreading word about the protests and calling people to join.

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26 Government bans analgin and two popular diabetes and anti-depressant Jun drugs India > Medicine
The government has banned three popular medicines, the widely prescribed anti-diabetes drug pioglitazone, painkiller analgin and anti-depressant deanxit in the wake of health risks associated with them. Pioglitazone can cause heart failure and increase the risk of bladder cancer, analgin has been discarded the world over on grounds of patient safety. Deanxit, on the other hand is a harmful combination, which has been long banned even in Denmark, its country of origin. The decision follows a strong stand by the government to suspend marketing of all drugs prohibited for sale in other countries like the US, the UK, EU and Australia.

26 Rupee hits all-time low of 60, Gold, silver prices fall Jun Economy > Rupee

The rupee fell to an all-time low of 60.73 on 26th June in the foreign exchange market as the RBI failed to defend the rupee at the 55.98 level through intermittent dollar sales. The fall was triggered by month-end demand for dollars. Besides making all imports expensive, a weak rupee will severely hurt those planning to travel or study abroad. Gold prices slumped to a one-month low of Rs. 26, 145 per 10 kg on 26th June, on the back of a steep fall in global prices while silver dropped to a three-year low, at $18.63 an ounce after reports that the US was withdrawing its stimulus programme.

26 New solar system found with 3 habitable planets Jun Science and Technology > New Solar System

Astronomers from the University of Gottingen have identified a new solar system having five to seven planets revolving the star Gliese 667C. A record-breaking three of these planets are super-Earths found in the so-called habitable zone around the star, the zone where liquid water could exist. This makes them good candidates for the search for life. Gliese 667C is a very well-studied star. It is just over one third of the mass of our Sun, and is part of a triple star system known as Gliese 667. Gliese 667 is remarkably similar to our solar system, compared to other stars studied in the search for habitable planets.

29 Mahindra Satyam suspends trading following merger with Tech Mahindra > Mahindra-Satyam Merger Jun Corporate Mahindra Satyam (Satyam Computer Services) will be suspended from trading with effect from July 4, 2013,
following its merger with Tech Mahindra. On 25th June,Tech Mahindra had formally announced the completion of Mahindra Satyams merger with itself. The merged entity is called Tech Mahindra now with Anand Mahindra as its chairman. Post-merger, the new entity has become the fifth largest IT company in the country with revenues of $2.7 billion.

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03 Windows phone captures third place in the US market after Android and Apple Jun Smartphone Sales
Windows seemed to have gained from the rivalry between Android and Apple smartphones that has cut into the overall market share, as Windows powered smartphones captured the third spot in the US market in early 2013, after Android and Apple. Microsoft's Windows, boosted by the Windows Phone 8 introduced last year, boosted its share to 5.6 per cent from 3.8 per cent. Android, the free operating system from Google, remained the top platform with 51.7 per cent of US sales in the three months to April, up from 50.3 per cent a year earlier; whereas Apple's iOS was second with 41.4 per cent, up from 39.1 per cent a year earlier. BlackBerry, had a minuscule 0.7 per cent of US sales compared with 5.3 per cent a year ago.

20 Ranbaxy, 8 other companies fined Rs. 1,000 crore Jun Ranbaxy

EU antitrust regulators have imposed fines totalling 146 million euros (Rs 1,150crore) on nine global drugmakers, includingRanbaxy, for blocking the supply of cheaper versions of Danish company Lundbeck's antidepressant drug citalopram. Ranbaxy needs to pay a penalty of 10.3 million euros (aroundRs 80 crore). In 2002, Lundbeck had entered into agreements with each of these companies to delay the entry of cheaper generic versions of its famous drug Citalopram. Lundbeck has to pay damages of 94 million euros while the others fined include Alpharma, Merck KGaA/Generics UK and Arrow. Punishments follow a European Commission report which says that "pay-for-delay" deals lead to consumers paying as much as 20% more for their medicines.

06 Trading agencies to reduce Gold imports, restrictions in imports may increase gold smuggling Jun Gold
India's gold imports could drop by up to 10% to around 880 tonnes this fiscal, following restrictions on gold purchases imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The RBI restrictions came after the Current Account Deficit (CAD) widened to alarming proportions following 162 tonnes of gold imports in May. The government has raised the import duty on gold and the RBI has asked banks, nominated agencies and star trading houses not to import gold on a consignment basis for domestic sales. RBI has also insisted that imports will be on 'documents against payments' as against the earlier norm of 'documents against acceptance'. Jewellers and bullion traders said that nearly 200 -250 tonnes of gold may be smuggled into India this year following the Reserve Bank of India's moves to check Golds shipments. The import duty, the value-added tax and premiums for spot delivery were very likely to lead to a rise in smuggling.

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11 Greece shuts state-run television and radio broadcaster to cut public Jun employment Greece
The Greece government has closed down its state-run television and radio broadcaster, idling 2,900 people, less than 1 percent of the public work force. The move came just days after one of Greeces lenders, the International Monetary Fund ,while acknowledging serious errors in the austerity policies it has imposed on the country, chastised the government as having failed to take politically difficult measures to shrink the public sector since it received its first bailout in 2010. Greece has promised its creditors this week to dismiss 4,000 civil servants this year, including 2,000 by the end of the summer and 15,000 by the end of 2014. Greece, along with Spain, Portugal and other bankrupt countries, are under increased pressure to revitalize the government by cutting older, low-skilled workers and bringing in younger workers with advanced degrees and computer skills, who would improve efficiency from policy making to tax collection and set Greece on the path to recovery.

21 Putin proposes loans upto $ 43.5 billion from pension reserves to accelerate growth Jun economic Russian Economic Stimulus Programme
Faced with meager growth and decline of Russias oil and gas reserves, President Vladimir Putin has announced a risky economic stimulus programme and an amnesty plan for imprisoned white collar criminals to boost investor confidence. Russia would distribute at least $14 billion from the pension reserves as loans to modernize the storied Trans-Siberian Railway, to construct a 500-mile high-speed rail line between Moscow and Kazan, and to build a superhighway ringing Moscow. The amnesty plan intends to release about 13,000 businessmen caught for economic crimes and is intended to signal easing police pressure on private entrepreneurs. But experts say that with nearly full employment, new government spending is more likely to cause wage inflation than to create new jobs. Instead, the government should reduce its dependence on oil and gas and create new industries, review manufacturing and attract foreign capital.

21 US Federal Reserve to reduce post 2008 financial stimulus to economy Jun Wall Street

The US Federal Reserve clearly laid out the steps it would take to reduce the extraordinary stimulus it has injected into the US financial system and economy since the financial crisis of 2008. It assured that it would withdraw support only when the economy becomes strong enough. However, the assurance failed to pacify investors and the benchmark Standard & Poors 500-stock index dropped 2.5 percent, its steepest one-day decline since November 2011, and ended the week down 2.1 percent. The challenge for Wall Street, as of now, would be to stand on its own without Federal intervention, at a time when the world economy is facing uncertainty about tightening credit in China and continuing debt woes in Europe. If stocks prices recover now and keep increasing without Federal support, it would increase investor confidence in the market.

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07 NHAI makes 24x7 ambulance service on national highways mandatory Jun Highway Safety
National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has mandated that developers and government agencies managing and maintaining National Highways (NHs) will have to ensure that ambulances and patrolling vehicles are available 24x7.The NHAI has decided to install vehicle tracking system (VTS) in all such vehicles with global positioning system (GPS) within a month to monitor their uninterrupted movement. As per rules, every developer needs to deploy one ambulance and one patrolling vehicle for every 50 km stretch. At present, the deployment is inadequate and only a small portion of the 80,000 km NH stretch has such a facility.

18 Defence ministry rejects fresh proposal for a permanent chairman of the of staff committee Jun chiefs Defence
The Ministry of Defence (MOD) has expressed major reservations against the fresh proposal for a permanent Chairman of the chiefs of Staff Committee (CoSC).The government had rejected such a proposal after the 1999 Kargil conflict. A permanent CoSC chairman would exercise "administrative control" over the nuclear arsenal, head a separate joint special forces command, prioritize modernization of the armed forces and prepare annual defence operational status reports. The MOD said that the current system of the three Service chiefs and the collegiate CoSC briefing the defence minister was functioning well and the creation of a permanent CoSC was not possible because of a lack of political consensus, as also lack of complete agreement among the three Services, the Army, the Navy and the Airforce.

04 Actress Jiah Khan commits suicide Jun Jiah Khan
Jiah Khan, of Nishabd fame, has committed suicide. She was found hanging at her flat in Sagar Sangeet Building in the posh Juhu area of northwest Mumbai around midnight on June 7th. Jiah, who was dating bollywood actor Aditya Pancholi's son Sooraj Pancholi, was under depression after coming to know of Suraj's new love interest, who supplied jewellery to the Pancholis. Sooraj has been arrested for abetment of suicide on the basis of Jiahs mothers statement and a six-page letter found in her flat three days after her death. Even in the fresh letters recovered, Jiah had accused Sooraj of physical abuse, rape, threats, cheating and abortion of a baby. Sooraj has accepted that he had beaten up Jiah, and they were in a live-in relationship.

12 World's oldest person dies in Japan at age 116 Jun Worlds Oldest Person

Japans Jiroemon Kimura, who had been recognized by Guinness World Records as the worlds oldest living person and the oldest man ever, died Wednesday of natural causes. He was 116. Kimura of Kyotango, Japan, was born April 19, 1897.Hhe had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia. The title of oldest living person is now held by another Japanese, 115-year-old Misao Okawa, of Osaka. Okawa was born March 5, 1898.

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GKCA Update 1 to 30th June


17 RAW founder B Raman dies Jun RAW Founder

One of India's foremost security experts and one of the founders of India's external intelligence wing, the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Bahukutumbi Raman passed away in Chennai at the age of 77.He was suffering from cancer. Raman was a former additional secretary with the Cabinet secretariat. He was also the director of the Institute for Topical Studies, Chennai. An author of several books, Raman used to write on security, counter-terrorism and military issues of India and South Asia.

20 Dolce and Gabbana sentenced to jail for tax evasion Jun Dolce and Gabbana

Celebrated fashion house duo Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana have been sentenced to one year and eight months in prison for avoiding taxes totalling 200 million euros ($268 million). The pair were also ordered by the court in Milan to pay a fine of 500,000 euros ($670,000) to Italy's national tax agency.

Politics & Government

05 Fear of economic breakdown looms large as continued political unrest shakes Turkey Jun Turkey Unrest
The Turkish stock market has fallen 9 percent in the past week, interest rates have risen and the currency, Lira has fallen 8 percent in the recent months and just 1 percent just since the protests began. Turkey which has achieved enviable economic success, because of the huge amounts of short term loans from foreign investors, could fall into a currency crisis and, eventually, a collapse in the property markets that could threaten the nations banks, if investors leave the country in search of a safe haven because of the recent political turmoil. Turkeys two previous financial implosions, in 1993 and 2001, were largely currency disasters, set off by fleeing investors and lenders. This year Turkeys private sector will require $221 billion, about 25 percent of Turkeys G.D.P, in outside financing alone, with most of it coming in short-term loans. Moreover, in preparation for the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Turkish republic in 1923, Mr. Erdogans government has unveiled a $400 billion public works program, which is more than half the size of the $770 billion Turkish economy. On top of a slew of equally large projects in high-speed rail, subways, ports and other amenities, Turkey is also a leading contender to secure the 2020 Olympic Games and if Turkey wins, the lending and borrowing will only speed up.

06 Hunger strike continues at the US military prison in Guantanamo bay Jun Guantanamo Bay Prison

A hunger strike started by a handful of prisoners at the US military prison at Guantanamo Bay, has now become a mass protest with 103 out of the 166 detainees still held there taking part. The protest began in February and has been growing for almost four months. Lawyers representing detainees say it was sparked by tougher prison searches, which according to the US military, uncovered various contraband items, including homemade weapons that have been used to attack prison guards. The detainees' lawyers claim that during those searches the Koran was mishandled which the US military strongly deny. The US military's cultural adviser, who liaises with the prisoners, says it is a familiar tactic to attract the attention of the outside world. Journalists who visit Guantanamo are still not allowed to identify or talk to the detainees. Though the US army Page 11 of 16

GKCA Update 1 to 30th June


now applies the Geneva Conventions at Guantanamo, shackles used to restrain detainees are still there. They are however referred to as "humane restraints" whereas force-feeding is called "enteral feeding". President Obamas renewed pledge to close down the prison facility might have raised hopes of the prisoners, but how hell achieve it or how the hunger strike will end is still a matter of question. The hunger strike has been called an asymmetric war and prison officials say that many detainees are dangerous and still in the fight for their cause.

16 Turkey cracks down violently on street protestors Jun Turkey Protests

The Turkish government cracked down violently on the anti-government protestors, targeting not just the demonstrators but also the medics who treat the injured protestors, the hotel owners who shelter them and the foreign media coming to Turkey to cover the protests. At places, protests took a more dangerous turn as anti-government protestors clashed with Erdogans civilian supporters. Erdogan also rallied thousands of his supporters from all over Turkey andsaid that the protests were the results of a foreign plot, along with financial speculators and terrorists, to overthrow his government. The escalating protests could lead to a continued period of civil unrest that could undermine Turkeys image as a rising global power and a model of Islamic democracy.

17 companies publish data of customer information requests from the Jun government
US Secret Surveillance Programme

Obama defends authorization of surveillance programme; technology

President Barack Obama defended his authorization of the recently revealed domestic and international surveillance programme and said he had made important changes from the policies of George W. Bush; including making sure that surveillance was approved by Congress and a secret foreign intelligence court. He said these programmes have disrupted terrorist plots in the United States and overseas. Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Yahoo have released reports about the overall number of data requests they had received from United States law enforcement agencies in a bid to reassure their users that the government gets information on just a tiny number of people. However, it is not known that out of all the requests received, how many of them were from investigators seeking out a terrorist link. The companies said they were not allowed to say, although they noted that the requests were commonly related to things like local police investigations and searches for missing children. Google and Twitter said they would not publish similar data until they could separate national security requests from the rest.

18 Congress announces reshuffle of its working committee, UPA reshuffles Cabinet with eye on 2014 Assembly elections Jun UPA
The Congress has announced a new working committee with 12 general secretaries and 42 secretaries. Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi will look after frontal organisations while senior party leader Digvijaya Singh has been made general secretary of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Goa. Ajay Maken, CP Joshi, Ambika Soni, Shakeel Ahmed and Gurudas Kamat have been made new AICC general secretaries. Making largescale changes in the organisation, Congress President Sonia Gandhi retained Ahmed Patel as her political secretary but significantly made Ambika Soni as general secretary incharge of the Congress Presidents Office (CPO). Page 12 of 16

GKCA Update 1 to 30th June


Oscar Fernandes, Vilas Muttamwar, Ghulam Nabi Azad and Birender Singh were dropped as general secretaries Prime Minister Manmohan Singh inducted 8 new ministers taking the size of the cabinet to 77, as part of a cabinet reshuffle to focus on the 2014 general elections. Rajasthan leader Girija Vyas replaced C P Joshi after the latter got a party assignment. Vyas filled the Brahmin slot, while 85-year-old Jat leader Sisram Ola was recalled to the Cabinet and given charge of the labour ministry, almost four years after he was last minister. Gandhi loyalist Oscar Fernandes appointment as highways minister and Mallikarjun Kharge's shift to railways from labour is viewed as a reward to the Karnataka contingent in the wake of Congress's return to power in the state. Unlike the changes in the Congress organization, the Cabinet inductions did not reflect a younger profile.

19 Afghan government to shun US peace talks with Taliban Jun Afghanistan

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said his government would not join U.S. peace talks with the Taliban in Doha, the capital of Qatar, and would halt negotiations with Washington on a post-2014 troop pact. The Afghanistan government was angered and accused the US government of violating assurances that it would not grant official status to the Taliban insurgents, after the Taliban opened a political office in Doha. The Taliban office was decorated with a banner referring to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the name the Taliban used during their 1996-2001 rule of the country. Afghanistan also said that negotiations with the US would remain suspended, until the US government clarifies its stand on the peace process.

26 Labour Party brings back former diplomat Kevin Rudd as Australia PM replacing Julia Gillard Jun Australia
Australias ruling Labour Party has elected former leader Kevin Rudd as PM replacing Julia Gillard in a move to try and avoid a major defeat at elections due within three months. Rudd, a former diplomat, won a Labour Party ballot with 57 votes to Gillards 45. The leadership change followed a series of opinion polls showing Gillards minority government could lose upto 35 seats at the coming elections, giving the conservative opposition a massive majority in the 150-member parliament. The polls also showed that Rudd is more popular with voters and his return to the prime ministership, which he lost to Gillard in June 2010, could reduce the Labour Partys election loss.

Science and Technology

13 New cornea layer named after Indian Body Jun Human Researchers from the University of Nottingham in the UK have found a previously undetected layer in the
cornea at the front of the human eye that could help surgeons to greatly improve outcomes for patients undergoing corneal grafts and transplants. The new layer has been dubbed the Dua's Layer after the academic Professor Harminder Dua who discovered it. Scientists previously believed the cornea to be composed of five layers, from front to back, The new layer that has been discovered is located at the back of the cornea, and is just 15 microns thick. Page 13 of 16

GKCA Update 1 to 30th June


13 Google launches worlds first tablet caf Caf Jun Tablet Google has launched the worlds first tablet cafe, replacing traditional PCs with tablet computers. Google had
offered funding last year and picked up one cyber cafe, Equinoxe cyber cafe, in Senegal, Africa into a pilot tablet cafe. In Africa, frequent power cuts and exorbitant electricity bills are a major headache for cyber caf owners and their customers. While tablets have reduced dependence on cyber cafes in the developed world, tablet cafes could succeed in Africa because most people cannot afford to buy the devices, and tablets use batteries and mobile data connections which make them immune to power cuts. The Equinoxe now sports 15 tablets and has installed cabins for private video chats. The tablet caf charges the same price as its predecessor and caf owners can save on electricity bills and invest more into improving their connection speeds.

16 Japanese Scientist develops body-double robot Jun Robots

Japanese roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro, director of the Intelligent Robotics Laboratory at Osaka University, Japan, has developed a body-double robot which resembles him closely, with tiny human-like movements and blinking eyes. The new Geminoid, an android resembling a real person was tele-operated i.e. controlled remotely by a person offstage. Ishiguro has also developed another Geminoid, a fashionably dressed female android, which he has shown off in the windows of clothing stores. Ishiguro has also taken his robots on the road as part of a travelling android theatre, where they act out scenes with human-like expressions. The roboticist also made the Telenoid, a pillow-like bot deliberately designed to appear ageless and genderless so that people can project an imagined face onto its neutral appearance. Another of Ishiguros inventions is the Elfoid a smaller version of the Telenoid that functions as a mobile phone.

16 Google launches balloon internet to connect remote areas without laying fibre cables Jun Internet Balloons
In an unusual technological breakthrough, Google has launched helium-filled balloons to beam internet down to earth. Google calls Project Loon, in recognition of how wacky the idea may sound. If successful, the technology might allow countries to avoid the expense of laying fibre cable, dramatically increasing Internet usage in places such as Africa and South-east Asia. Google made its first experiment in the heart of New Zealands South Island. Google eventually hopes to launch 20 kilometers (12 miles) into the stratosphere in order to connect the worlds 4.8 billion unwired people and their 2.2 billion plugged-in counterparts. How it works: Googles balloons fly free and out of eyesight, scavenging power from card table-sized solar panels that dangle below and gather enough charge in four hours to power them for a day as the balloons sail around the globe on the prevailing winds. Far below, ground stations with Internet capabilities about 100 kilometers (60 miles) apart, bounce signals up to the balloons. The signals would hop forward, from one balloon to the next, along a backbone of up to five balloons. Each balloon would provide Internet service for an area twice the size of New York City, about 1,250 square kilometers (780 square miles), and terrain is not a challenge. Costs involved: Google has not mentioned the costs involved, although theyre striving to make both the balloons and receivers as inexpensive as possible, drastically less than laying cables. The signals travel in the unlicensed Page 14 of 16

GKCA Update 1 to 30th June


spectrum, which means Google doesnt have to go through the onerous regulatory processes required for Internet providers using wireless communications networks or satellites.

20 Scientists develop battery made of wood Jun Battery Made of Wood

Scientists at the University of Maryland have found that a sliver of wood coated with tin could make a tiny, long-lasting, efficient and environmentally friendly battery. The components used in the battery are thousand times thinner than a piece of paper and sodium used in the batteries, instead of lithium, makes it environment friendly. Its low cost and common materials would make it ideal to store huge amounts of energy at once, such as solar energy at a power plant.

27 Google to float helium balloons over rural India for internet connectivity Internet Balloons Jun Google Google will float helium balloons over rural India for Internet connectivity if its pilot project Project Loon yields
promising results. The project has several balloons floating around the earth at an altitude of 20 km, or twice the height at which commercial aircraft fly, and beaming internet connectivity to remote and rural areas, that are not served by traditional copper or fibre optic networks. However, Google has not mentioned any time frame to launch the project in India.

30 Researchers develop camera that captures smells Capturing Camera Jun Smell Amy Radcliffe, a student at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design has developed a camera that can
capture the scent of memories, recording smells instead of images. A person needs to place the funnel over the object or environment they wish to capture, and then a pump sucks the air across an odour trap made of Tenax - a porous polymer resin which adsorbs the volatile particles that make up the smell. Users can take their exposed odour traps to the local lab to be processed into delicate vials of the scent.

05 M S Dhonis 15 percent stake in sports management firm Rhiti raises issues conflict of interest Jun of M S Dhoni
Dhonis stake in sports management firm Rhiti that also manages him, has raised issues of propriety and conflict of interest in at least two occasions. Rhiti manages four other current cricketers, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Pragyan Ojha and RP Singh. This puts Dhoni in the conflicting position where he has a 15% share of the profits earned by Rhiti Sports from managing these four players, even as he opines or votes on them in team selection meetings as the Indian captain. In overseas tours also, where the captain has a say in the playing eleven, the players managed by Dhoni's company might have an unfair advantage. The second situation is in Dhoni's position as the captain of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK), the Indian Premier League franchise, for which he, Raina and Jadeja play and whose team principal Gurunath Meiyappan is currently in custody on charges of illegal betting. Dhonis silent stance on the issue is perhaps influenced by the ties that bind Rhiti and him to CSK and its ownership. Page 15 of 16

GKCA Update 1 to 30th June


However, Rhiti claimed that Dhoni held 15% equity in Rhiti to secure certain outstanding payments due for more than one year and that the shares had been sold back to promoters when payments were cleared in April 2013, but there is no evidence on record. Even if Dhoni did not have any share in Rhiti Sports Management Pvt. Ltd, there are at least two other firms where Dhoni and his family held shares, where the only other partners were Arun Pandey and Rhiti sports. Background: Dhoni and Pandey have been friends for the past 15 years and in 2010, Dhoni left his previous well-known sports management firm and got into a 3-year deal with Rhiti sports for Rs 210 crore, or an average of Rs 70 crore a year, the priciest ever in Indian cricket.

04 Floods surge in Europe, cause widespread disaster Jun Floods
Disaster warnings have been issued in large parts of Central Europe and Southern and Eastern Germany after flood waters continued to swell rivers following days of heavy rain. Thousands have been evacuated from cities and governments have deployed defence forces to help build flood defences. Several people have died and dams have broken open. Many roads and train lines as well as schools have been closed, while shipping has been stopped on many major rivers. In some states, there are warnings of higher water levels than the record floods of 2002. Hungary and the Czech Republic have issued a nationwide state of emergency and around 3000 people have been forced to leave their homes across the west of the Czech Republic. The governments of Germany, Czech Republic and Austria have pledged full support to the affected people and German Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised 100m euros ($130 million) in emergency aid for flood-hit areas.

10 China jails brother-in-law of Chinese Nobel laureate Jun China

Chinese authorities have arrested Liu Hui, the brother-in-law of 2010 Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo, on charges of committing fraud and sentenced him to 11 years in jail. Liu Hui was convicted of cheating a person, Zhang Bing, of $490,000 working along with a colleague. Meanwhile, Liu Xiaobo has been undergoing a 11-year jail sentence on charges of subversion and organizing a petition to overthrow the government since 2009. His wife Liu Xia is not allowed to visit her husband in jail and has complained that the government has placed restrictions on her movement around her own house, although there are no charges against her. These grand projects will have a visible aesthetic effect on Istanbul that infuriates the protestors. Although it might be too early to predict an economic crisis, financial jitters including the fall of the Lira has been noticeable since the protests began.

26 Former South Africa President Nelson Mandela on life support Jun Nelson Mandela

One of the biggest personalities behind the end of Apartheid rule in South Africa, former president, Nelson Mandelas health has become critical. He has been placed on life support and is no longer able to breathe unassisted. Mandela had been undergoing treatment, including renal dialysis, at the Mediclinic Heart Hospital in Pretoria since June 8. Page 16 of 16

GKCA Update 27 Jun to 03rd Jul


Starred Articles
29 Mahindra Satyam suspends trading following merger with Tech Mahindra > Mahindra-Satyam Merger Jun Corporate Mahindra Satyam (Satyam Computer Services) will be suspended from trading with effect from July 4, 2013,
following its merger with Tech Mahindra. On 25th June,Tech Mahindra had formally announced the completion of Mahindra Satyams merger with itself. The merged entity is called Tech Mahindra now with Anand Mahindra as its chairman. Post-merger, the new entity has become the fifth largest IT company in the country with revenues of $2.7 billion.

01 on European allies Jul World > US Secret Surveillance

Job title key to inner access by Snowden, leaked documents reveal US spied
How he got access to classified documents: Snowdens job was actually that of an infrastructure analyst, who looks for new ways to break into internet and telephone traffic around the world. Because of his position, Snowden got hold of the secret documents. Asylum requests: Snowdens American passport has been revoked and without travel documents, he would be unable to pass through Russian immigration control or to travel to another country. Snowden has submitted asylum requests to 19 countries, including India (which has rejected it). Russia said that Snowden could stay in Russia, provided he stopped publishing classified documents that hurt the United States interests. Reaction of European allies: The documents leaked by Mr. Snowden showed 38 embassies and missions on a list of United States electronic surveillance targets. Some of those offices belong to allies like France, Italy, Japan and Mexico. European officials reacted angrily and said that the claims could threaten talks with Washington on an important trade-sharing deal and have a severe impact on EU-US relations.

01 Nokia to buy out Siemens in joint venture for $2.2 billion > Nokia Siemens Networks Jul Corporate Nokia had entered into an agreement to buy Siemens entire stake in their telecom equipment joint venture
Nokia Siemens Networks for 1.7 billion euro (about $2.2 billion). The 50:50 joint venture was set up in 2007. Post-acquisition, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nokia.

02 Massive protests break out in Egypt to oust Morsi, military serves 48 hours Jul ultimatum
World > Egypt Protests
Protests: Millions of people across Egypt demanded the ouster of their first elected head of state, President Mohamed Morsi, in an outpouring of anger at his not being able to transcend his roots in the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). Clashes between Mr. Morsis opponents and supporters broke out in several cities around the country, killing at least 15 people. The police are in open revolt against Mr. Morsi and did nothing to stop the assault or the arson on MB offices.

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GKCA Update 27 Jun to 03rd Jul


Background: The protests began in November, when Mr. Morsi tried to declare himself above the courts until the passage of a new Constitution. Mr. Morsi continued to battle institutions within his own government left over from Mr. Mubarak, most notably the judiciary and the police. Military Involvement: The military has served an ultimatum to Morsi to resolve issues within 48 hours, failing which they will enforce a roadmap. The military, however, specifically denied a coup. Egypts future stability is now in question. It economy has been beset with issues: fuel shortages, dwindling hard currency reserves and worries about its wheat supplies. The militarys move to force the MB from power, despite its electoral victories, could set a precedent for future instability.

02 PMO asks for discussion on Jet-Etihad deal in Cabinet, wants to examine Jul stake sale
Corporate > Jet-Etihad Deal
The Prime Ministers Office (PMO) has asked the civil aviation ministry to bring the Jet-Etihad deal for discussion in the Union Cabinet and also wants to examine the stake sale. The PMO asked for the discussion after it was felt that the deal was "complex" and several MPs opposed it on the ground that it will divert business away from Indian centres like Delhi to Abu Dhabi. The over Rs 2,000 crore planned acquisition by Etihad would have ordinarily gone to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, but the PMO has pointed to SEBIs concerns over the structure of the company being proposed as well as the Foreign Investment Promotion Boards (FIPB) concern that whether the deal is within the contours of Indian law and policies.

02 India launches first dedicated navigation satellite Jul Science and Technology > Indian Navigation Satellite

India on Monday successfully launched its first dedicated navigation satellite from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota. Launched at a cost of approximately Rs. 125 crore, the IRNSS-1A is the first of the seven satellites constituting the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) space segment and has a mission life of 10 years. It is designed to provide accurate position information service to users in the country as well as the region extending up to 1,500 km from its boundary.

27 Google to float helium balloons over rural India for internet connectivity and Technology > Google Internet Balloons Jun Science Google will float helium balloons over rural India for Internet connectivity if its pilot project Project Loon yields
promising results. The project has several balloons floating around the earth at an altitude of 20 km, or twice the height at which commercial aircraft fly, and beaming internet connectivity to remote and rural areas, that are not served by traditional copper or fibre optic networks. However, Google has not mentioned any time frame to launch the project in India.

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GKCA Update 27 Jun to 03rd Jul


30 Researchers develop camera that captures smells and Technology > Smell Capturing Camera Jun Science Amy Radcliffe, a student at Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design has developed a camera that can
capture the scent of memories, recording smells instead of images. A person needs to place the funnel over the object or environment they wish to capture, and then a pump sucks the air across an odour trap made of Tenax - a porous polymer resin which adsorbs the volatile particles that make up the smell. Users can take their exposed odour traps to the local lab to be processed into delicate vials of the scent.

01 Deadly wildfires ravage Arizona, 19 firefighters killed > Arizona Wildfire Jul World A deadly wildfire in Arizona killed 19 firefighters and ravaged more than 8,000 acres of land. The fire spread
rapidly owing to the ravaging monsoon winds. Scientists say that an increasingly hot and dry West has become the new normal and would result in more catastrophic fires. Since 1970, Arizona has warmed at a rate 0.72 degrees per decade, the fastest among the 50 states. The fire potential is exacerbated by the past policy, beginning around 1900, of putting out all fires which are a natural way of clearing out the dry combustible underbrush. Moreover, in the 1990s, more than 2.2 million housing units were added in these fire-prone areas, suppressing natural fires, while allowing a buildup of combustible materials like the slash debris left behind by logging.

01 Shadow banking grows in China Jul Banking > China

Chinas biggest banks are using lightly regulated wealth management products to repackage old loans and prop up risky companies and projects that might not otherwise be able to borrow money. The loans are often made off the balance sheet, and therefore outside the purview of bank regulators, which is why experts call it shadow banking. They are made at higher interest rates, so everyone right from the borrower, the banks, to the investor of the wealth management product, benefits, as long as the borrower repays. Shadow banking is helping drive the rapid growth of credit in a weakening economy, which could lead to a series of bank failures. By the end of last year, Chinas shadow banking activity was valued at $6 trillion, twice the level in 2010, and now the government is taking all possible steps to curb the practice.

01 Vodafone offers Rs.4, 000 crore for retaining 2G spectrum > Vodafone Jul Corporate Vodafone India has offered to pay Rs.4,000 crore for retaining premium 2G spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai and
Kolkata, where its licences will expire in November, next year. The government, however, has plans to auction spectrum in the three circles in the forthcoming round scheduled later this fiscal.

01 Gold prices increase after falling to 3-year low last week > Gold Jul Economy Gold rose by Rs. 45 to Rs. 26,475 per 10 grams and silver increased by Rs. 200 to Rs. 41,200 per kg on increased
offtake by jewellers and coin makers. Gold and silver, rose in the bullion market following sustained buying by Page 3 of 4

GKCA Update 27 Jun to 03rd Jul


stockists and retailers, after Gold dropped to its lowest level in 34 months on 29th June which lured buyers and led to an increase in its demand.

02 Big Indian corporates seek banking license Jul Banks > Banking License

26 companies, including conglomerates, such as Aditya Birla Group, Tata Sons, and Anil Ambani's Reliance Group and large corporates such as L&T Finance, Venugopal Dhoot's Value Industries and Bajaj Finserv have applied for a bank license. The RBI will face the tough job of selecting a handful of candidates who it feels are best placed to run a bank. Among the 26 applicants, are also public sector promoted entities such as India Post, LIC Housing Finance and post-liberalization finance companies, including Edelweiss, India Infoline and Indiabulls etc. After YES Bank in 2003, no new bank has been given a licence.

02 Google might launch Flight Search in India, flight aggregators cry foul play > Google Flight Search Jul Corporate Google would likely launch its Flight Search service in India, which might put the business model of Indian
flight aggregators such as Makemytrip, Yatra, and Cleartrip etc. under threat. Flight Search lets users compare fares offered by airlines and book tickets directly from airline websites. This could, in effect, make flight aggregators redundant. The companies are considering steps to protect their interests, including a possible complaint to the Competition Commission. They further claim discrimination by Google when it comes to search results for queries relating to online travel.

02 India loses $ 5 billion Kazakhstan oilfield deal to China Jul Politics and Government > India-Kazakhstan Oil Deal

India's ONGC has lost the giant Kashagan oilfield to the Chinese after Kazakhstan blocked its $5 billion deal to buy US energy major Conoco Phillips' stake in the Caspian Sea oilfield. ONGC had in November last year struck a deal with Conoco Phillips to buy its 8.4 percent stake in Kazakhstan's biggest oilfield, Kashagan. According to Kazakh law, the government has the right to buy any oil asset for sale in the country at the price agreed on by the buyer and seller. Kazakhstan will now buy the 8.4 stake and sell it to China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) for a reported $5.3-5.4 billion. India has lost at least $12.5 billion of deals to China in past years.

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GKCA Update 4 Jul to 10th Jul


Starred Articles
04 Army puts Morsi under house arrest, more than 50 pro-Morsi supporters dead Jul shot World > Egypt
Egypt Army detains Morsi Egypts military has toppled Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and reportedly put him under house arrest and has arrested some of his top supporters. Adly Mansour, head of the country's Supreme Constitutional Court, will replace Morsi as Egypt's interim president. A liberal economist Hazem el-Beblawi has been appointed as the Prime Minister and diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei as a vice president for foreign relations, both appointments aimed to assure the western allies and donors that Egypt must depend on. The Muslim Brotherhood has rejected the new political roadmap announced by the military-backed interim leadership that sets a fast track for amending the Islamist-drafted constitution and holding new parliamentary and presidential elections by early next year. Morsi supporters shot dead In one of the worst single incidents of violence, 54 pro-Morsi supporters, who were staging a sit-in, have been shot dead near a military barrack in Cairo, where Morsi is believed to be in detention. The Army has denied involvement and said that a terrorist group had tried to storm the barracks. Mansour has ordered the formation of a judicial committee to investigate the attacks. Aid from Arab states The United Arab Emirates would provide a grant of $1 billion and an interest-free loan of $2 billion, while Saudi Arabia would reportedly provide an additional $5 billion, to stabilize the turmoil surrounding Morsis overthrow that has pushed the teetering Egyptian economy closer to the brink of collapse and to steer clear of the chances of Arab Spring democracy movements. United States to review aid to Egypt The United States is reviewing the implications for American aid to Egypt after the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi, and if the U.S. government determines that the army's move qualifies as a coup it would have to cut off more than $1 billion in aid to Egypt, mostly to the military.

04 CBI names officials of Gujarat Police and IB in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter Jul case India > Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter Case
The CBI has named officials of the Gujarat police and the Intelligence Bureau in the fake encounter case of 19year-old Mumbra college student Ishrat Jahan and three others in June 2004 and called it a cold-blooded murder. Among the accused are absconding additional DGP P P Pandey and DIG D G Vanzara, who is already charged with murder in Sohrabuddin Sheikh and Tulsiram Prajapati fake encounters. Although no IB officer has been named, the CBI has accused the IB of providing the weapons to place them on the bodies of the encounter victims.

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GKCA Update 4 Jul to 10th Jul


04 Newspaper reveals France has secret data collection programme, US Postal Jul Service tracks all mails of US citizens
World > US Secret Surveillance Programme
French newspaper Le Monde has disclosed that France has its own large program of data collection, which sweeps up nearly all the data transmissions, including telephone calls, e-mails and social media activity that come in and out of France, without clear legal authority. It also accused the government of recording data from large American networks like Google and Facebook. Although French officials didnt comment on this, the disclosures, made the French outrage against the US programme of spying on its allies seem hollow. Fresh revelations have brought to light a longtime surveillance system of the US Postal service called mail covers, a forerunner of a vastly more expansive effort, the Mail Isolation Control and Tracking program, in which Postal Service computers photograph the exterior of every piece of paper mail that is processed in the United States. It is not known how long the government saves the images. The program was created after the anthrax attacks in late 2001 that killed five people, including two postal workers and have since then helped avert and detect various crimes and illegal activity. The programme shows that all postal mail is subject to the same kind of scrutiny that the National Security Agency has given to telephone calls and e-mail.

05 Delhi doctors create software to differentiate malaria from dengue Jul Science and Technology > Software

A team of doctors from Sir Ganga Ram Hospital (SGRH) in Delhi in collaboration with a Russian lab have developed software to differentiate dengue, malaria and other viral fevers, otherwise a challenging task due to their similar symptoms. The software expected to aid in faster detection, reduction in cost of treatment and minimization of antibiotic resistance as only fever-specific antibiotics need to be given to patients.

07 9 explosions rock Mahabodi Temple at Bodh Gaya, 2 injured Jul India > Bodh Gaya Blasts

A series of 9 low intensity blasts went off in and around the Mahabodhi temple, a UNESCO World Heritage site associated with the Buddhas enlightenment on the 7th of July. The first blast occurred at 5:45 a.m. Nine explosions followed in the next hour four at temple sites and five in a 500-meter radius. A 50-year-old Tibetan and a 30-year-old Myanmar national were injured in the attack. The terror outfit Indian Mujahideen(IM) is believed to be behind the blasts. Arrested IM operatives had revealed during interrogation in October 2012 that Dilsukhnagar in Hyderabad and Buddhist temples in Bodh Gaya were targeted by them. Both the places saw blasts and now security agencies are seriously looking at other targets revealed by them. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) has taken over the investigation of the serial bomb blasts.

09 Currency controls in Cyprus increase worry about Euro system Jul Economy > Cyprus

Capital controls introduced in Cyprus as part of a bailout for the countrys ailing banks has made a euro in Cyprus no longer the same as one in France, Germany or Greece. With a gross domestic product of only about $ 23 billion, Cyprus has introduced currency controls on the Euro to restrict the flow of capital from the country. It has raised a crucial question that whether the breakup of the Eurozone had already started since the Euro cant have restricted movement and cant have a different value and status within the 16 countries in the Eurozone. The rules of the European Union ban restrictions on the movement of capital, but the measures Page 2 of 5

GKCA Update 4 Jul to 10th Jul


by Cyprus have been endorsed by the European Central Bank as essential to prevent money from fleeing the country. Although rigid capital controls introduced in March have been steadily relaxed, Cypriots need to present invoices and other documents to justify moving their money. Transfers over 500,000 euros by a company and 300,000 euros by an individual, require the central banks approval.

10 Arundhati Bhattacharya to be named SBI's first woman managing director Jul Corporate > SBI

SBI Caps chief Arundhati Bhattacharya will be appointed as the State Bank of India's first woman managing director, a decision that is expected to pave the way for her to take over as the chairman of the bank. Bhattacharya will succeed Diwakar Gupta, who retires at the end of the month. Even now, there are at least three women public sector bank chiefs although SBI is yet to match its smaller peers. In the private sector, Chanda Kochhar is ICICI Bank MD & CEO and Shikha Sharma heads Axis Bank.

04 2 prime European banks promise to keep rates low, assure investors of easy Jul money
Economy > Europe
The European Central Bank and the Bank of England have promised that they would keep interest rates at the present level or even lower for an extended period of time. The extended period would definitely be more than 12 months. The forward guidance is aimed at providing more certainty to investors at a time when tensions in Europe are rising again following a political crisis in Portugal, which has raised questions about whether the regions governments will be able to withstand popular discontent with their policies of cutting budgets to bring public debt under control. Although investors had pushed up the risk premium on bonds issued by troubled Eurozone countries, market rates on Italian and Spanish bonds retreated after the banks announcement. The commitment to keep rates low reassured investors that they can count on easy money for the foreseeable future.

04 Scientists Fabricate Rudimentary Human Livers Jul Science and Technology > Rudimentary Human Livers

Researchers in Japan have used human stem cells to create tiny human livers like those that arise early in fetal life. When the scientists transplanted the rudimentary livers into mice, the little organs grew, made human liver proteins, and metabolized drugs as human livers do. Although the scientists warned that this was very basic research and the method would have to be scaled up enormously in order to treat a patient, it was a major breakthrough in terms of its application in future medical treatment.

09 Chinese Army enters Ladakh yet again, raids Indian post Jul Politics and Government > Indo-China Relations

In yet another incursion, Chinese troops crossed over into the crucial Chumar post area and smashed bunkers and cut wires of cameras before taking away an Indian surveillance camera after dismantling it on June 17. The Chumar post is in the same area which had sparked off the 21-day faceoff between the two sides in April. The Page 3 of 5

GKCA Update 4 Jul to 10th Jul


video camera was returned on July 3 after an Army-ITBP team lodged a strong protest during a flag meeting at Spanggur Gap in Chushul sector. Despite the need for good relations harped by both countries during the recent visits of Chinese Premier Le Keqiang to India and the Indian Defence Minister A. K. Antony to China, Chinese Troops continue to infiltrate into the Indian territory along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

09 Worlds first solar-powered family car developed Jul Science and Technology > Solar Family Car

Students from the Netherlands' Eindhoven University of Technology unveiled Stella, the world's first solarpowered family car with room for four people, a trunk, intuitive steering, that expands or contracts when you are driving too fast or too slowly, and a range of 600km. The solar cells of 'Stella' generate more electricity on average than the car uses and that means the surplus electricity can be returned to the power grid, thereby making the car 'energy-positive'. The solar-powered cars manufactured to date are usually built for just one person and Stella comes as a welcome innovation.

09 Penguin Random House asks author Vikram Seth to return $ 1.7 million Jul advance
India > Vikram Seth Penguin Random House deal
The newly merged entity and now the Worlds largest book publisher Penguin Random House has asked author Vikram Seth to return his $1.7 million (approx Rs ten crore and thirty lakh) advance, a part of which was paid to him for A Suitable Girl, the sequel to his best-selling novel, A Suitable Boy. Seth was scheduled to submit his manuscript this June but has been unable to do so leading to the publishers' demand. The drastic step might have been taken by Penguin Random House in an effort to cut costs and streamline operations. Seth, who commands million dollar advances and took eight years to write the voluminous A Suitable Boy, works on his own terms and his agent is trying to negotiate with the publishers for a new date.

09 Leaked report suggests Bin Laden lived undetected because of Pakistani Jul negligence
Politics and Government > Pakistan
A leaked Pakistani government report suggests Osama Bin Laden lived in Pakistan undetected after fleeing Afghanistan in 2001, because of the culpable incompetence and negligence at almost all levels of the Pakistani military and government. Over a period of six years the unusual nature of the compound, where Laden lived, failed to draw the attention of Pakistans intelligence services. The report said it could not rule out "the possibility of some degree of connivance inside or outside the government". The report also voiced harsh criticism of the Navy Seal raid on Abbottabad, describing it as an "American act of war" and Pakistan's "greatest humiliation" since East Pakistan seceded in 1971. It quotes officials as saying that Pakistan air force jets were scrambled to shoot down the US helicopters, but were too late. The 336-page document was the result of interviews with more than 200 witnesses, including senior civilian and military officials, as well as with Bin Laden's three widows prior to their deportation to Saudi Arabia. Javed Iqbal, the head of the Abbottabad Commission, formed to establish whether the failures of the government were due to incompetence or colluding with al-Qaeda, said that the report was based on assumptions" and did not include even one out of more than 100 recommendations made by the Commission.

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GKCA Update 4 Jul to 10th Jul


10 Yahoo shuts down early web search engine AltaVista Jul Corporate > AltaVista

Yahoo has closed down AltaVista, one of the most popular early web search engines. AltaVista was introduced in 1995, three years before Google Inc. was founded. AltaVista's popularity had already faded by the time Yahoo acquired it as part of its $1.7 billion purchase of Overture Services Inc. in July 2003. Overture had bought AltaVista earlier that year from Massachusetts-based CMGI Inc. AltaVista's decline began after it expanded to become more like Yahoo, offering a bevy of online services instead of sticking solely with search. By the time it decided to revert and focus solely on search, its finances had declined and Google had gained ground as the top search engine.

10 PM backs plan to raise FDI across sectors to boost economy Jul Economy > FDI

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has backed the plan to raise foreign direct investment (FDI) ceiling in telecom to 100%, besides allowing overseas funds to flow into several sectors without prior government approval. The list of sectors where companies will be allowed to invest through the so-called automatic route includes oil and gas refining, courier and commodity and power exchanges. The higher cap for telecom is intended to send an encouraging message to global investors. Regarding FDI in defence, Defence minister A K Antony has opposed higher foreign investment in the sector citing vulnerabilities. However, he has left the door open for allowing over 26% FDI backing in case-to-case clearances by the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS).

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GKCA Update 11th to 17th Jul

Starred Articles
11 Supreme Court says MPs and MLAs to be disqualified if they face conviction Jul charges
India > Supreme Court
In a path-breaking judgement, the Supreme Court has scrapped a provision in the Representation of the People Act that offered convicted politicians a three month window to appeal convictions and keep their seats while those appeals were pending. MPs or MLAs could henceforth be disqualified even if they are slapped with minor fines and jail terms in offences such as insulting the national flag or defiling a place of worship. However, lawmakers who have already been convicted by courts would not incur disqualification if they had appeals against such convictions pending. As of now, 31% legislators are said to be facing some trial or the other in a variety of cases.

11 RBI curbs currency derivatives trade by banks and raises Marginal Standing (MSF), SEBI raises margin for non-bank traders Jul Facility Economy > RBI
The combined steps of the RBI and the SEBI to reduce speculation helped the rupee recover and brought in signs of stability, though a sustained recovery might prove elusive unless the trade balance improves. The Reserve Bank of India banned banks from indulging in proprietary trading in currency derivatives, which took the pressure off the currency, and the Securities & Exchange Board of India raised margin requirements for non-bank traders. The RBI also raised the Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) rate and Bank Rate each by 200 basis points to 10.25 percent and capped the amount up to which banks can borrow or lend under its daily liquidity window at 1 percent of banks' deposits, roughly 750 billion rupees. It also announced a 120 billion rupee sale of government bonds for Thursday, 18th July.

13 Modi accuses Congress of hiding in veil of secularism, his puppy comment on Gujarat riots irks many Jul Politics and Government > Narendra Modi
Gujarat CM and BJPs chief campaigner Narendra Modis recent comments on the Congress and the 2002 Gujarat riots has created quite an upheaval in the Indian political scenario. Accusing the UPA government over the downturn in economy, falling rupee and corruption at a rally in Pune, Modi said that the moment there is a crisis, they (Congress) wear the burqa (veil) of secularism and hide in a bunker. The Congress responded that it was much better than "naked communalism". In yet another incident, defending himself against accusations over the 2002 riots in an interview to the newswire Reuters, Modi said he was sad about the riots, adding he would be sad even if a puppy came under a car. He said his government used its full strength to do the right thing and he had no guilty feeling. Modis comments came under fire from the ruling Congress, the BSP and estranged ally JD (U) as well.

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GKCA Update 11th to 17th Jul

15 Indias fifth generation fighter to miss development deadline as Russia hikes cost Jul India > 5th Generation Fighter Aircrafts
Indias biggest defence project, development of the Fifth-Generation Fighter Aircraft (FGFA), with Russia is unlikely to be concluded in the 2013-14 fiscal as Russia has hiked costs. India was planning to induct the FGFA from 2022 onwards, with IAF test pilots getting three prototypes in 2014, 2017 and 2019 for trials. The timeframes would now have to be revised. India will eventually end up spending close to $35 billion over the next two decades to induct over 200 such fighters. The final design contract now being negotiated was pegged at $11 billion, with India and Russia sharing $5.5 billion each. Each fighter was to cost over $100 million. Now, a committee of specialists and finance officials will verify the rise in costs and an internal contract negotiation committee is also in progress to steer the project.

15 Egypt to investigate Morsis 2011 jailbreak, freezes assets of top leaders Jul brotherhood World > Egypt
Egytian prosecutors will investigate allegations of jailbreak by ousted president Mohamed Morsi and more than 30 other Muslim Brotherhood leaders during the 2011 revolution to topple Hosni Mubarak. It has been alleged that Morsi had escaped from prison with help from the Palestinian militant group Hamas. Hamas has denied any role and Morsi says local residents helped him escape. Egypt's public prosecutor has ordered the freezing of assets belonging to 9 top Muslium brotherhood leaders, including the group's general guide Mohamed Badie. Assets of five Islamists from other groups were also frozen in connection with four deadly incidents since Morsi's ouster.

15 Government shuts down Telegraph service Jul India > Telegraph Service

The government of India officially closed down the 160 year old Telegraph service on Sunday, July 14, 2013. The Government decided to wind up the department to minimise losses to the Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Owing to poor usage of the service and dwindling revenue, the government has taken this extreme step. The Telegraph service was established in 1850 in Calcutta (Now Kolkata). Many people visited telegraph offices to send the last telegram to their near and dear ones and experience a slice of the soon to become history.

16 Jamaat Boss, Ghulam Azam, 91, gets 90 years in jail for war crimes Jul World > Bangladesh

The leader of Bangladesh's fundamentalist Jamaat-e-Islami, 91 year old Ghulam Azam, has been sentenced to 90 years in jail for masterminding atrocities during the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war in which around 3 million people were killed. The wartime head of Jamaat and now its spiritual leader was spared the death penalty because of his age and health. He was found guilty of murder and torture by the International Crimes Tribunal. Azam was the fifth Jamaat leader to be sentenced for war crimes but his was the most awaited verdict in Bangladesh swept by the anti-fundamentalist Shahbag movement. With Jamaat calling a strike in protest against the sentence, clashes broke out in various parts of Bangladesh.

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GKCA Update 11th to 17th Jul

16 Supreme Court lifts ban on dance bars in Mumbai Jul India > Dance Bar Ban

Dance bars in Mumbai are set to make a comeback after a gap of 8 years with the Supreme Court upholding a Bombay High Courts decision against the ban. In 2005, the Maharashtra Government imposed a ban on dance performances in permit rooms, beer bars and eating houses. In 2006, The Bombay High Court ruled that the ban violated the constitutional right to earn a living and was against the public interest. The Supreme Court ruled that there was no justification that a dance permitted in dance bars would be derogatory, exploitative or corrupting of public morality and the ban was an overreaction on the part of the state government. The judgement was welcomed by hoteliers and bar dancers while the state government said that it would seek legal advice on how to keep dance bars shut.

16 22 children die after consuming mid-day meal in Bihar Jul India > Mid-Day Meal Tragedy

22 children have died till now and 25 more have fallen sick after consuming free mid-day meal at a government school in the village of Masrakh in Bihars Saran district. The children were admitted to hospitals in the nearby town of Chhapra and the state capital, Patna. The poisoned meal consisted of rice, pulse and soyabean and a preliminary investigation suggests the food had traces of an organo-phosphate used as an insecticide on rice and wheat crops. Its believed the food was not washed before it was served at the school. Chief Minister of Bihar, Mr. Nitish Kumar, has ordered a high-level enquiry into the incident and has announced a compensation of Rs. two lakh each to the families of the deceased. Following the incident, violent protests erupted in Chhapra where people armed with sticks and rods set ablaze a bus and damaged public property.

10 Flipkart raises $200 million, biggest in Indian e-commerce space Jul Corporate > Flipkart
Online retailer Flipkart has raised $200 million (about Rs 1,200 crore) from its existing investors, the single largest round of investment in the Indian e-commerce space. The investment values the company at $1.5 billion. The investors are Naspers, the South African internet major that recently bought out bus ticketing startup redBus, private equity firms Accel Partners and Tiger Global, and San Francisco-based family office Iconiq Capital. The total investment in the company, over five rounds of funding, is now over $380 million.

12 NASA finds blue planet where it rains glass Jul Science and Technology > Astronomy
NASA scientists have discovered a blue planet that possibly rains glass, orbiting a star 63 light years away, marking the first time an exoplanets true colour has been determined. Scientists measured changes in the colour of light from the planet before, during and after a pass behind its star. In the planet, the daytime temperature is nearly 1,093C, and it possibly rains glass sideways in howling, 7,242 kmph winds.

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GKCA Update 11th to 17th Jul

12 Malala Yousafzai, Pakistani girl shot by Taliban, makes appeal at U.N. Jul World > Malala Yousafzai

In a speech at the United Nations Youth Assembly in New York on her 16th birthday, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting education for girls in Pakistan, called on world leaders to provide free, compulsory education for every child. She said that the terrorist attack on her and her colleagues have been unable to silence them and have made them even stronger. Yousafzai has been an outspoken critic of the Taliban since 2009 when Taliban militants attacked more than 800 schools as part of their violent campaign against girls education in northwestern Pakistan.

13 13 Mumbai policemen sentenced to life in jail for Lakhan encounter killing > Lakhan Encounter Jul India 21 convicts including 13 policemen have been handed out life sentences in the case of the 2006 fake
encounter killing of former Chhota Rajan aide Lakhan Bhaiya alias Ramnarayan Gupta. Among the six police officers and seven constables convicted is former encounter specialist Pradeep Suryavanshi. The main accused, former encounter specialist Pradeep Sharma, has been acquitted. Lakhan Bhaiya was picked up from Vashi and killed in an encounter at Versova on Nov 11, 2006. This is the first encounter case in Mumbai in which so many policemen have been convicted.

13 CBI says Intelligence Bureau (IB) tapes, which reveal LETs motive to kill Modi, made up Jul India > Ishrat Jahan Fake Encounter
Police Inspector Bharat Patel who has been arrested by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case has said that IB officials Rajinder Kumar, M K Sinja and others made alleged terrorist Amjadali Rana speak to Pakistanbased Lashkar-e-Toiba commander Muzammil over satellite phone and cell phone and recorded the conversation while he was in their "illegal" custody at Arham Farm on the outskirts of Ahmedabad. The IB tapes pointed to Muzammil instructing Javed, an alleged terrorist killed in the fake encounter to convince Jishan Johar, another alleged terrorist, to eliminate right wing leaders including Narendra Modi and L K Advani. However, the CBI chargesheet claims that Rana told crime branch officials that LeT had no plan to kill Modi, but he was sent to target crowded places.

13 Scientists develop artificial heart from cow tissue Jul Science and Technology > Artificial Heart

Carmat, a company based in Paris, has designed an artificial heart fashioned in part from cow tissue. The device, soon to be tested in patients with heart failure, is regulated by sensors, software and microelectronics. And its power will come from two external, wearable lithium-ion batteries. Fifteen years in development, the artificial heart has been approved for clinical trials at cardiac surgery centers in Belgium, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Slovenia. Surfaces in the new heart that touch human blood are made from cow tissue instead of artificial materials like plastic that can cause problems like clotting.

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GKCA Update 11th to 17th Jul

14 Former watch volunteer George Zimmerman cleared of charges in the 2012 Martin killing Jul Treyvon World > Treyvon Martin Killing
Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman was cleared of all charges in the shooting of Trayvon Martin, the black teenager, whose killing in February 2012 unleashed furious debate across the US over racial profiling, self-defense and equal justice. The jury of six women acquitted Zimmerman on the basis that he had shot Martin in self-defence. Previously in 2012 soon after the killing, protesters nationwide had lashed out against the police as it took 44 days for Zimmerman to be arrested. Demonstrators upset with Zimmermans acquittal protested mostly peacefully throughout the US but some protesters broke windows and vandalized a police squad car in Oakland during protests. Hundreds took to the streets in New York to protest Zimmermans acquittal.

15 Mayawati seeks ban on RSS, VHP Jul Politics and Government > Mayawati

Following the ban on caste-based rallies by the Allahabad High Court, Bahujan Samaj Party chief Mayawati justified such gatherings organized by her party and instead demanded a ban on RSS, VHP and Bajrang Dal. She said outfits like them which claim to be non-political, control the BJP in reality and design caste-based and religion-based political strategies for the BJP besides finalizing its Prime-Ministerial candidate. She said that they are a bigger threat to the nation.

16 Snowden reveals Microsofts cooperation with NSA, seeks temporary in Russia Jul asylum World > US Secret Surveillance Programme
US secret surveillance programme whistleblower Edward Snowden has alleged that Microsoft cooperated with the American National Security Agency (NSA) to intercept users' data, including helping the agency to crack Microsoft's own encryption codes. It also said that the NSA had tapped into Skype customers worldwide. Microsoft said that legal obligations forced it to provide the NSA access to its services. However, Microsoft does not provide any government with blanket or direct access to SkyDrive, Outlook.com, Skype or any Microsoft product. Snowden has requested temporary asylum in Russia, until he is able to travel to Latin America, where three countries have offered him political asylum. He had been holed up at the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport since his arrival from Hong Kong on June 23.

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GKCA Update 18th to 24th Jul

Starred Articles
19 Detroit, worlds largest auto-making capital, files for bankruptcy Jul Economy > Detroit
Detroit, the auto capital of the world, became the largest US city ever to file for bankruptcy. Detroit has more than USD18 billion in debt and unfunded liabilities and doesn't have the revenues to meet those obligations and provide an adequate level of services to its people, who pay the highest taxes per capita in Michigan. Detroit which at one time had some two million population has now reduced to just 70,000 and bankruptcy is the only feasible option to fix the citys finances. Detroit's move, if successful, could prove to be a model for other financially distressed cities across the US.

20 Six sentenced to life imprisonment over Swiss Gang rape case Jul India > Swiss Gang-Rape Case

Six men accused in the gang rape and robbery of a Swiss tourist in March this year in Madhya Pradesh ,have been sentenced to life imprisonment and a fine of Rs. 10,000 has been imposed on each of them. The victim, a 38-year-old Swiss national, had come to India along with her husband on a holiday. They were cycling from Orchha to Agra and had stopped near Jhadia village in Datia, 405 km north of Bhopal, when they were targeted by these six men. The accused had also robbed the couple of their belongings.

22 Japan set to have a stable govt. as PM Shinzo Abe wins thumping victory in House Jul Upper World > Japan Upper House Polls
Japanese Prime Minister, Shinzo Abes Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) won a thumping victory in the Upper House elections of the Japanese parliament. His party won 65 of the 121 seats being contested; with its junior partner New Komeito securing 11. The country's main opposition party, the Democratic Party of Japan, won just 17 seats. Since 2007, the upper house parliamentary deadlock has led to a new Prime Minister assuming office every year. The ruling partys victory in both houses of parliament will ensure Japan's first politicallystable government since 2006. Mr. Abes primary focus, now, would be to pursue his radical economic policies to revitalise the Japanese economy and rewrite the pacifist post-war constitution, which confines the nation's military to only a self-defence force. Another challenge would be restarting Japans nuclear reactors because a strong anti-nuclear sentiment is still present following the March 2011 Fukushima disaster.

22 Amartya Sen says he doesnt want Modi to be Indias PM Jul Politics and Government > Amartya Sen

Coming out strongly against Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, Nobel laureate Amartya Sen said he does not want him to become India's prime minister as he does not have secular credentials and did not do enough to make minorities feel safe. Sen also criticised Modi's model of governance saying he did not approve of it and said that Gujarat needs to do much more on the health and education sectors and bring equity.

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GKCA Update 18th to 24th Jul

22 Major earthquakes strike China and New Zealand, death toll rises to 94 in Jul China
World > Earthquakes
A 6.6 magnitude earthquake struck a rural, semi-arid area of northwestern China's Gansu province killing 94 people and injuring more than 1000. About 1, 23, 000 people were affected by the quake and almost 2,000 homes were completely destroyed, and about 22,500 damaged. Paramilitary People's Armed Police has launched a massive search for survivors. The Chinese Red Cross would help with relief work. Heavy rains predicted for the next week could hamper rescue efforts. Meanwhile, a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck about 35 miles south of New Zealands capital, Wellington, in the channel between its northern and southern islands. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported. A disaster warning has been issued to all people working in the central city.

22 northern Iraq Jul World > Iraq

Al Qaeda militants flee Iraq jail in violent mass break-out, blasts rock
More than 500 inmates, most of them convicted senior members of al Qaeda who had received death sentences, escaped from Iraqs Abu Ghraib jail as Al Qaeda comrades launched a military-style assault to free them. Suicide bombers armed with car bombs blasted their way into the compound and attacked guards with mortars and rocket-propelled grenades. Other militants fought off security reinforcements sent from Baghdad. Ten policemen and four militants were killed in the ensuing clashes. A similar attack followed on another prison, in Taji, around 20 km (12 miles) north of Baghdad, but guards managed to prevent any inmates from escaping. Sixteen soldiers and six militants were killed. Recent attacks by Sunni insurgents backed by Al Qaeda have targeted mosques, amateur football matches, shopping areas and cafes. Two attacks on Monday, 21st June, rocked Mosul, the northern Iraq metropolis, where blasts killed at least 20 people and injured many.

18 Purported letter from Taliban tells Malala Yousafzai why she was targeted Jul World > Malala Yousafzai
In a letter to Malala Yousafzai, a senior Taliban commander, Adnan Rashid, purportedly tells her that she was targeted not because she advocated education for all girls, but rather for her provocative criticism of the militant group. The letter was released just days after 16-year-old Malala delivered an emotional plea at the United Nations for the right to go to school on behalf of all children. Malala was 15 when she was shot in the head by Taliban militants on her way home from school in Pakistan on October 2012. Rashid said he was writing to express shock and regret at the shooting. The letter went on to say that the Taliban supports the education of women, as long as it adheres to Islamic law. He urged her, according to the letter, to return to Pakistan and use her pen for Islam and the plight of the Muslim community.

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GKCA Update 18th to 24th Jul

19 Obama addresses nation in surprise speech on Trayvon Martin verdict > Trayvon Martin Killing Jul World While addressing the nation on the Trayvon Martin verdict, Barack Obama called Martins death a tragedy
saying that Martin could have been his son or could have been him 35 years ago. Though he didnt explicitly criticize the jury verdict, he understood the response to the verdict. He went on to say how the AfricanAmerican community was treated with mistrust and insecurity and also mentioned at one point that if a white had been involved in the same kind of scenario, the outcome and the aftermath might have been different. Obama gave some ideas such as reconsidering legislation like stand your ground which encouraged the confrontation as well as reducing mistrust in local law enforcement and racial profiling. Obama also urged celebrities and authority figures to embrace and strengthen the community of young male African Americans. Obama ended his speech on a hopeful note saying that, talking to his daughters, he sees that things are getting better.

19 Indian-American Nisha Biswal nominated as assistant-secretary of state for Asia Jul South World > Indian Origin Asst. Secretary of State
President Barack Obama has nominated Nisha Desai Biswal, an accomplished Indian-American administrator, to head the South Asia bureau, which oversees US foreign policy and relations with India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives and Bhutan. Upon confirmation by the Senate, Desai will become the first person of Indian or even South Asian origin to head the bureau.

21 China to invest $160 billion in Andhra Pradesh Jul Politics and Government > Indo-China

China is ready to invest about $160 billion in Andhra Pradesh in different sectors like food processing, smallscale industries, infrastructure and education, among others, and improve bilateral ties with India. However, any timeframe or phases in which such a huge investment could materialize was not mentioned. Additionally, China would send 10,000 students to Hyderabad for education in various streams.

22 India among countries facing highest risk of importing deadly MERS virus Jul India > MERS Virus

Scientists from St. Michaels hospital in Toronto have warned that the deadly MERS coronavirus that has emerged in the Middle East could spread faster and wider in India during the annual festivals of Umrah and Haj, when millions of domestic Muslims will visit Saudi Arabia in the month of October this year. Around 1.7 lakh Indian Muslims will visit Haj this year. Mumbai and Kozhikode are at the top of the list of susceptible cities, as both cities have received more than 3, 50, 000 commercial air travellers between June and November 2012 from the four countries where MERS cases have been traced back to.

22 Kate Middleton, wife of Prince William, gives birth to royal baby boy Jul World > Royal Baby
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Prince William's wife Kate Middleton gave birth to a baby boy, their first child who will be third in line to the British throne. The birth was welcomed by well-wishers and media gathered outside St. Mary's Hospital in west

GKCA Update 18th to 24th Jul

London, where William was born to the late Princess Diana in 1982. The news has been displayed on an easel in the forecourt of Buckingham Palace in line with tradition.

22 ICICI Bank ties up with Movida for mobile payments Specific > ICICI Jul Bank Movida, the mobile payments joint venture between Visa and Monitise, today said private bank ICICI Bank will
utilise its payment services. The service will enable ICICI Bank payment card holders to pay bills and recharge prepaid airtime among others. The payment solution is designed to operate across all mobile networks using any payment card and can be accessed through all kind of mobiles including basic handsets.

22 US vice-president Joe Biden on maiden visit to India to bolster ties Jul Politics and Government > Indo-US

In his first official visit to India after assuming office in 2009, US vice-president Joe Biden arrived on 2nd July with his wife, Jill, on a four-day trip aimed at bolstering ties in key sectors of trade, energy, defence and security. Biden will hold meetings with top Indian leadership, including President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

22 Indian Badminton League (IBL) holds auction of players Jul Sports > Indian Badminton League

The first-ever auction of players for the Indian Badminton League (IBL) saw success as the franchisees spent $861,000 on 36 Indian players. Billed as the worlds richest badminton league, with $1 million as the prize fund, the event is aimed at benefiting the home players as well as improving the popularity and conditions of the sport in India. Each of the franchisees had a budget of about $2, 75,000 (Rs 1.6 crore) to buy 10 players for their team. Mens world number one player Lee Chong Wie was bought by Mumbai Masters, for $135,000 (over Rs 80 lakh). The most valued female player was Saina Nehwal, who was bought by Hyderabad Hotshots, for $1, 20,000 (Rs 71 lakh). Other icon players included P.V. Sindhu who was sold to Awadh Warriors (Lucknow Warriors) while P. Kashyap was bagged by Banga Beats. The Chinese, however, have stayed away from the event. IBL will begin from August 14 and will be played across the six franchise cities till August 31.

23 22 killed in Bengal Panchayat polls violence Jul India > Bengal

22 people have been killed and several others, including minors, have been injured in the violence that has engulfed West Bengals Panchayat polls. Mangled by splinters from a cruse bomb, a childs hand had to be amputed whereas three children, aged below 10 years, were injured when they mistook stockpiled bombs for balls at the house of a Trinamool woman candidate. Even the Central forces were targeted in Maldas Ratua, where they were forced to open fire, in which a villager died. Five people have died and more than 50 people from the CPI (M), the Congress and the Trinamool Congress have been injured in post-poll clashes in Murshidabad district. The fifth and final phase of polling is on July 25.

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GKCA Update 18th to 24th Jul

23 Maharashtra to ban all forms of chewable tobacco, except raw tobacco and supari Jul raw India > Tobacco Ban
The Maharashtra government has banned the manufacture, storage, distribution, or sale of tobacco and betel nut, which is either flavoured, scented or mixed with any of the said additives, and whether going by the name or form of gutka, paan masala, flavoured / scented tobacco, flavoured / scented supari, kharra (also known as mawa, which is a mixture of tobacco and betel nut). Except raw tobacco and raw supari, all other forms of tobacco would be banned.

23 Gold may get dearer as RBI takes measures to boost export Jul Economy > Gold

Gold jewellery may become expensive as the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has made it mandatory to export 20% of all imported gold in the form of ornaments. Besides, traders will now be prompted to sell gold to overseas buyers even at lower prices to meet the latest export rules. This might force them to raise domestic jewellery prices to cover losses. RBI also specified that gold importers would have to supply gold in any form only to jewellers or dealers supplying ornament manufacturers to stem investment in gold in order to bring down the countrys Current Account Deficit (CAD) and strengthen a falling rupee.

23 Top US general outlines military options for Syria Jul World > Syria Conflict

Top US military officer, Gen Martin Dempsey, has outlined the costs, risks and benefits of possible American military involvement in the Syrian conflict. He has offered five military options, including limited strikes and establishing a no-fly zone but said that using force in Syria would be similar to an act of war and could cost the US billions of dollars. More than 90,000 people have been killed in Syria since the uprising again President Assad began in 2011. Washington has so far ruled out military intervention in Syria but has delivered humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries and provided non-lethal help to the Syrian opposition.

23 Wal-Mart tells government it cannot meet 30% sourcing clause Jul India > FDI

The world's largest retailer Wal-Mart has expressed its inability to the government on meeting the sourcing norm in the multi-brand segment that requires 30% procurement from Indian small industries, stating it can procure only about 20%. However, officials have said that it would be really difficult for the government to ease this provision as it is a politically sensitive issue. Several global retailers have raised their concerns over the sourcing restriction. Although 51 percent FDI is now allowed in multi-brand retail, no formal proposal has been received by the government yet.

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GKCA Update 25th to 31st Jul

Starred Articles
25 2004-05, Congress says full meal available for Rs. 12 and 5 at Mumbai and Jul Delhi
Politics and Government > Poverty Ratio
The Planning Commission on Tuesday said poverty ratio in India had declined to 21.9 percent in 2011-12 from 37.2 percent in 2004-05 on account of increase in per capita consumption. The Planning Commissions report means that the people whose daily consumption of goods and services exceed Rs.27.20 in villages and Rs.33.33 in cities are not poor. The BJP has slammed the Planning Commission over the formula for calculating poverty figures. Congress spokesperson Raj Babbar said that one can have a full meal for Rs.12 in Mumbai whereas Congress leader Rasheed Masood of Delhi said that on can get a meal for Rs. 5 in Delhi Jama Masjid. The comments have received widespread criticism from all angles, including the BJP and the JD (U). The Congress has downplayed the comments saying that the Planning Commission has compared the decline in poverty in 2004 during the NDA regime with that of 2012 during the UPA tenure.

Planning Commission says poverty ratio declined 15% in 2011-12 from

26 120 Morsi supporters shot dead in deadly state massacre, US not to classify Jul Morsi ouster as a coup
World > Egypt
Millions of Morsi supporters took to the streets in protest after former president Mohamed Morsi was charged with espionage and murder. In a violent massacre by the state, at least 120 supporters of Morsi have been shot dead by security officials at a sit-in in East Cairo. Morsi supporters allege that people were shot in the head and above the waist. Medics said that bullet holes in the centre of the head and in the back of the skull proved that the snipers were shooting to kill and not just to injure. The United States has determined the ouster of Morsi by the military as not being a coup. A coup determination would force the United States to end military aid to Egypt.

28 Publicis and Omnicom merge to create worlds biggest advertising company Jul Corporate > Mergers and Acquisitions
France's Publicis and US firm Omnicom have announced a merger to create the world's biggest advertising company worth $35.1bn (22.8bn). Omnicom chief executive John Wren and Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy are to become joint CEOs. The companies see savings of $500m from the merger, and the deal is expected to be finalised by the end of the March 2014. The merger should be "tax-free" and the holding company would be based in the Netherlands.

30 Government announces bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create Telangana Jul India > Telangana

The government on Tuesday, 30th July, announced the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh to create a separate state of Telangana. With a population of over 3.5 crore, Indias 29th state will have 17 Lok Sabha seats and 119 assembly seats. The decision is expected to strengthen the Congress Partys fortune in the state ahead of the Page 1 of 4

GKCA Update 25th to 31st Jul

2014 Lok Sabha elections. Hyderabad will remain the common capital of the splintered states for at least 10 years. The creation of Telangana is expected to overcome the poverty and backwardness in the region which were at the roots of the separate state movement.

24 Salman Khan charged with culpable homicide, charges 130 crores for Bigg 7 Jul Boss India > Salman Khan
Bollywood star Salman Khan has been charged with culpable homicide by a Mumbai court. In September 2002, he allegedly drove his car into a bakery in Mumbai, killing a man sleeping on the street and seriously injuring 3 others. If convicted, he faces 10 years in prison. The trial will begin on 19th August. Salman, who was reportedly getting a whopping Rs. 2.5 crore per episode for anchoring Bigg Boss Season 6, will now be tucking in Rs. 5 crore per episode for the reality show's season 7. Rs. 5 crores per episode multiplied by 26 episodes totals to a huge amount of Rs. 130 crores. With this, he will become the highest paid actor on small screen.

25 56 killed and 70 injured as train derails in Spain Jul World > Spain Train Disaster

At least 56 people were killed and 70 injured when a train derailed on the outskirts of the northern Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela on 24th July. The train was driving at 192 kilometres per hour in a curve, where the speed limit was 80 kilometres. The driver has been charged with professional recklessness.

25 Tablets register growth of 424% in India, Apple iPhone sales also record 400% growth Jul India > Tablets and iPhones
Tablets are eating into the PC market and have registered a phenomenal growth of 424 percent. The decline in the growth of PC is a matter of concern which is growing by only 5 percent, as India still has very low PC penetration. The combination of basic functioning of a PC coupled with affordability has made tablet PCs a favourite among consumers. Apple Inc. CEO Tim Cook has said that iPhone sales in India beat all expectations to soar 400% in the April-June quarter just a year after he famously said he loved India but felt business opportunities were much more elsewhere.

26 Bihar teachers stay off mid-day meal duties Jul India > Mid-Day Meal

Nearly three lakh government teachers boycotted the mid-day meal scheme on the grounds that it constituted non-academic work. Bihar Primary School Teachers' Association said that their repeated requests to the government to remove primary teachers from mid-day meal duty had not been attended. It also said that the Saran school principal, arrested on charges related to the mid-day meal deaths of July 16, had been wrongly framed in the case. Page 2 of 4

GKCA Update 25th to 31st Jul

29 UIDAI and banks disagree on use of biometric authentication at ATMs Jul Bank Specific > Aadhar for ATM Transactions

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) that issues AADHAR cards is pushing for biometric authentication for credit card and ATM transactions. However, bankers are disagreeing saying that upgrading each and every automated teller machine and point of sale terminal will be very expensive. An RBI-constituted panel has pegged the cost of banks' readiness for Aadhaar at 4,259 crore compared with 3,556 crore the banking industry has to spend to upgrade machines to implement biometric authentication. UIDAI might give dissent note on cost figures arrived at by the panel. UIDAI is of the view that Aadhar-based payment technology can be cost effective and beneficial as it will take electronic payments to the masses.

29 Pope Francis says gays must not be judged or marginalized Jul World > Pope On Gays

In a conversation with journalists, Pope Francis said that gays should not be judged or marginalized and should be integrated into society, but he reaffirmed Church teaching that homosexual acts are a sin. The Pope also said that he is no one to judge a priest for being gay. The Pope however said that lobbying by the gay orientation is a problem as with Masonic lobbies, political lobbies or other such lobbies. Francis also said the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests was definitive, although he would like them to have more leadership roles in administration and pastoral activities.

30 Government and RBI, both say promoting growth is the others Jul responsibility Economy > Growth
Finance Minister P Chidambaram endorsed the measures taken by the RBI recently to stabilise the rupee, but said that the RBIs mandate should not be limited just to price stability, but also promote growth and generate employment. He added that banks had enough funds to meet the credit demands and the industry should come up with large investment projects. In response, RBI governor D Subbarao has made it clear in his policy that the responsibility of bringing back the growth momentum lay with the government. The government should undertake structural reforms to ease supply side bottlenecks and thereby push growth.

31 Detroit bankruptcy puts $2.5 billion city art collection under threat Jul Economy > Detroit

Detroit which has a $18 billion long-term debt is looking at all sources of revenue to pay back creditors, even selling off Detroits prized art collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The world-famous 60,000-piece collection is worth up to $2.5 billion and includes world famous works by Rembrandt, Matisse, Czanne, Degas, Van Gogh and Gauguin. Any attempts to liquidate the museum's collection could face resistance from arts patrons, who still donate millions of dollars a year to the DIA. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette wrote a legal opinion arguing that the collection is held by a charitable trust for the people of Michigan and that the city doesn't actually own the art and hence can't sell it.

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GKCA Update 25th to 31st Jul

31 Mamnoon Hussain wins Pakistan presidential election Jul World > Pakistan

Agra-born Mamnoon Hussain, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz's nominee, won the country's presidential election with a huge margin on Tuesday securing 432 votes against his rival's 77. Hussain, 73, will take oath as the 12th president of Pakistan on August 9, a day after President Asif Ali Zardari's five-year term in office gets over. The main opposition, Pakistan Peoples' Party, and two other parties boycotted the polls saying they havent been given enough time to campaign.

31 China indicts top politician Bo Xilai on corruption charges Jul World > China

Bo Xilai, former member of the Communist Party of Chinas powerful 25-member Politburo has been indicted for bribery, corruption and abuse of power. Bo has been in detention since April 2012. Bo took advantage of his position to secure others interests in return for money and properties. He also embezzled a huge amount of public money harming the interests of the state and the party. Bo was credited with a spectacular crackdown on organized crime as well as his economic policies on social housing. However, allegations of murder against his wife in April last year led to further unravelling of his own political misdeeds. Bos wife Gu Kailai had been convicted and had received a suspended death sentence for the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood, in November 2011.

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GKCA Update 01st to 07th Aug

Starred Articles
01 FDI limit increased in Print media, telecom, defence and retail Aug Economy > FDI
The Indian Newspaper Society (INS) passed the FDI limit in Print media to increase from 26 per cent to 49 per cent in order to sustain the growth in the print media business through an inflow of funds. The government has also raised the cap on foreign direct investments to 100% in telecom and more than 26% on a case-to-case basis in defense, and allowed FDI up to 49% under automatic route in nine sectors including single-brand retail, state-run oil refineries, commodities, power exchanges, stock exchanges and clearing corporations. India has also eased key rules on foreign direct investment in multi-brand retail.

04 Durga supported by Muslim clergy; UP government lashed for using communal shield Aug India > Sand Mafia
Durga Shakti Nagpal, an IAS officer has been suspended by the UP government for demolishing an underconstruction mosque's wall. She oversaw a massive operation to stop sand mining in Noida, Faridabad and used surprise and secrecy to arrest illegal miners. The sand mining was illegal as no environment impact assessment (EIA) was carried out and thus responsible for soil-erosion and changing the natural flow of the Yamuna and Hindon rivers. The Akhilesh Yadav government has been highly criticized for its decision. Several Muslim clerics have lashed out at the government for suspending the officer and giving a communal colour to its political decision.

04 Jet-Etihad deal likely to get approval from SEBI and CCI Aug Corporate > Jet-Etihad Deal

The Jet-Etihad deal is likely to get approvals from market regulator SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) and the CCI (Competition Commission of India). Jet and Etihad have agreed to change their shareholder agreement to address the control-related and other concerns raised by SEBI and CCI. As per the changes, the direct and indirect control of the airline would remain with Naresh Goyal, while Etihad would not get any excess power beyond its 24 per cent stake. The deal was approved by the Foreign Investment and Promotion Board (FIPB) last month and referred to the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) for clearance, where it is still pending.

06 Washington Post sold to billionaire Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for $250 Aug Million.
World > Washington Post
The Washington Post has been sold to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos for $250 Million. It came as a surprise for the employees of the Post. The Washington Post Company's newspaper division, of which the Washington Post newspaper is the flagship title, has suffered a 44 per cent decline in revenues over the past six years. The sale comprises the newspaper, its website and a handful of other newspapers and printing operations. It does not include its potentially lucrative headquarters in downtown Washington. Page 1 of 4

GKCA Update 01st to 07th Aug

07 Pakistan army, terrorists kill 5 soldiers in LoC attack putting peace talks in jeopardy. Aug India > Pakistan
Five Indian soldiers were killed in a surprise attack by heavily armed group of Pakistani soldiers along the LoC in the Poonch sector of Jammu &Kashmir. This event and the resultant anger in the Parliament dulled out the chance of composite dialogue with Pakistan which was scheduled in a few weeks over the Wullar Barrage. Defence Minister A K Antony said that the attack was carried out by 20 heavily-armed terrorists in Pakistani Army uniform and added that the Indian Army was fully prepared to take all necessary steps to uphold the sanctity of LoC.

01 Goldman Sachs downgrades Indian economy, says market is 'underweight' > Goldman Sachs Aug Economy US multinational investment banking firm Goldman Sachs has downgraded its rating on Indian markets, on
concerns of sluggish economic growth recovery. The external funding environment has caused the RBI to tighten liquidity. According to Goldman, earnings would grow at 5 per cent this year and 11 per cent next year which are still below their expectations. It expects the dollar/rupee to remain at 60 for the year but expects continued weakness to 65 through 2016.

01 HDFC Bank, Axis Bank raise fixed deposit rates by upto 4%, others may follow suit. Aug Economy > Fixed Deposit Rates
Axis Bank has raised interest rate on term deposits with maturity between 14-29 days by 4 per cent to 8 per cent, while in case of 7-14 days the increase is by 3.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent on bulk deposits above Rs 1 crore.The fixed deposit rates of India's second largest private sector lender HDFC have also been raised by 1 per cent for maturities between 15 days to 6 months one day effective July 2. Yes Bank has also raised its rates by 0.5%. Other private sector banks are also likely to follow suit. Due to the rupee depreciation, RBI has taken slew of measures resulting in the tight liquidity situation for the banks.

01 Harvard Scientists develop device to send signals from human brain to rat's brain Aug World > Harvard
Neuroscientist Seung-Schik Yoo and colleagues at Harvard have found a way by which signals from the brain of a human can be sent to the brain of a rat. First, they put an EEG device on a human that measures the brain's electric signals through the skull. When the humans wanted to signal "move your tail" to the rat, they would look at the monitor and their brains would send the signal. The EEG picked up the signal, and then a computer translated it into a command sent to the rat's brain via Focussed UltraSound (FUS). This is an example of how brain-to-brain interface might work. Page 2 of 4

01 Musharraf to be indicted in Benazir Bhutto killing Aug World > Pakistan

GKCA Update 01st to 07th Aug

Pakistans former president Pervez Musharraf is expected to be indicted next week in connection with the death of Pakistans first female Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. Musharraf will be charged with his alleged failure and negligence to provide adequate security for Bhutto. Bhutto was assassinated in a gun-suicide attack in December 2007 after she came back to Pakistan to participate in the 2008 elections. Musharraf was President at the time.

03 India's new state Telangana brings more demands for smaller states from across the country Aug India > Telangana
Demands for smaller states have surfaced from all over the country following the creation of Telangana. The Jammu State Morcha (JSM) said that it would revive its campaign seeking statehood for Jammu. Amongst the other prominent demands for statehood is Bodoland, a part from Assam, and Gorkhaland being demanded by the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha to be created from West Bengal. India may have at least 50 states in future if all demands for new states are to be conceded as the home ministry has received representations for creation of more than 20 states.

04 FICCI says govt should increase expenditure on R&D Aug India > FICCI

FICCI has said that the government should increase expenditure on research and development activities and also create an aggressive policy environment for boosting private sector investment. Indias investment in private sector R & D is less than 25 percent of overall spend. FICCI has also suggested the introduction of legislation allowing private scientists to file patents, create new enterprises and share financial returns of their inventions. It also suggested the government should facilitate exchange program between researchers and public to create better synergy in public-private. Such a strategy would raise the country's overall spend on scientific and technological R&D from the current level of 0.98 percent of GDP.

05 Scientists create world's first lab-grown burger Aug World > Synthetic Burger

Scientists from Maastricht University have created the world's first synthetic lab-grown burger which was tasted at London recently. Developing and producing the burger cost $325,000. Muscle stem cells painlessly harvested from two cows raised on organic farms were used to make the cultured beef. It was tasted by two volunteer food experts. The new technology could be a sustainable way of meeting the world's growing appetite for meat.

06 RBI to issue subsidiary norms for MNC banks soon Aug Economy > RBI

The RBI may soon issue the final guidelines on subsidiarisation of foreign banks. In the draft guidelines issued in 2011, it was proposed to make it mandatory for foreign banks entering India to set up their local units as wholly-owned subsidiaries. This was the reason behind the MNC banks going slow on conversion to avoid huge Page 3 of 4

GKCA Update 01st to 07th Aug

tax liabilities. RBI has said that the final decision of the subsidiary model is delayed because of some taxation and legal issues.

07 Raghuram Rajan appointed as next RBI Governor, youngest to hold post Aug India > RBI

Chief Economic Adviser Raghuram Rajan has been appointed as the new Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for a term of three years. He is preceded by D. Subbarao who will leave office on September 4. Previously, Rajan was the chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund and at age 50, he is the youngest to hold the post of the RBI Governor. Rajans primary challenges would be managing high consumer price inflation, industrial slowdown, a free fall of the rupee and a widening Current Account Deficit (CAD). Raghuram Rajam is a gold medallist from both IIT-Delhi(Electrical Engineering) and IIM-Ahmedabad. He has done his Phd from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and taught at the University of Chicago.

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