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India, Japan to expedite negotiation on civil nuclear pact
June 1st, 2013
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Thailand informed India of the progress Thailand and Myanmar had made in t...
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project is expected to commence within next few months by the State-owned ...
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Whereas, World Bank is comprised of only two institutions:
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Tags: Environment • Germany • International
Fact Box: induced Pluripotent ...
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 Conflict:
 As the water resources of the Nile is shared by many countri...
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with IT hardware and in Phase-II, the program has been built on 3 cornerst...
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 · Employees will have an opportunity to learn, build and enhance new ski...
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Egypt highest court declares Shura Council illegal
June 4th, 2013
In a maj...
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 To expedite procurement procedure, the new policy has slashed the validi...
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 Make it mandatory for a developer to maintain a separate bank account fo...
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pest management regulations and respond swiftly to contain biosecurity pro...
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The United States has exempted India and eight other nations from sanction...
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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has set up an advisory committee, h...
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that tourists instill the feelings and spirit of cleanliness and respect f...
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 The state cabinet had recently passed a proposal to set up all-women pol...
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World Environment Day Observed globally with the theme: ―Think. Eat. Save-...
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 Stunting (reduced growth) affected at least 165 million children worldwi...
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requesting not to consider her for another term of the Council and result ...
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 Initially the group had only 6 member Germany, Italy, Japan, United King...
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 Educational institutions, corporate entities, entities that train and pl...
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 The independent oversight mechanism will not have any government represe...
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It is a measure of inflation that finds application in tax law, when compu...
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 Mandatory 30% sourcing from small industries will be counted only for sa...
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well. RBI has directed state/central co-operative banks to ensure that the...
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throwing organic parties and ‗health‘ luncheons and even supplementing wed...
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Desein, which provides services in India and the U.A.E., has proposed to c...
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quick response to passenger complaints regarding housekeeping service in c...
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Over the past week, Indian debt market has witnessed as sharp pull out of ...
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Following the alerts sent from the Tsunami Warning System, the tsunami ale...
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World no.1 American tennis player Serena Williams defeated her Russian opp...
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diseased tree removal, and suppressing Asian citrus psyllid through area-w...
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 Space-based solar power systems convert sunlight to microwaves outside t...
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Jun current affair

  1. 1. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ JOIN THIS GROUP TO DOWNLOAD EXCLUSIVE StUDY MATERIAL ENGLISH GRAMMAR BOOK APTITUDE BOOK CURRENT AFFAIRS....... https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/
  2. 2. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ India, Japan to expedite negotiation on civil nuclear pact June 1st, 2013 Prime Ministers of India and Japan have inked a joint statement directing officials of their countries to speed up the negotiations of an Agreement for Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy. The statement didn‘t fix any timeline and will take at least two years for its implementation. Talks on energy cooperation had virtually stopped after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe late in 2011. What is special with the signed statement? The most favorable point for India is that the statement mentions no reference to New Delhi signing the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as a precondition for Tokyo to consider civil nuclear cooperation. India has reiterated its commitment to unilateral and voluntary moratorium on nuclear explosive testing. Other commitments:  To work together for immediate commencement and an early conclusion of negotiations on a non-discriminatory, multilateral and internationally effectively verifiable Fissile Material Cut-off Treaty (FMCT).  To collaborate to prepare the ground for India to become a full member in the International Export Control Regimes.  To work to further consolidate and strengthen the Strategic and Global Partnership, keeping in mind changes in the strategicenvironment.  To establish a Joint Working Group (JWG) to explore modalities for the cooperation on the U.S.-2 amphibious aircraft. What are International Export Control Regimes and why India wants to become its member? There are four key International Export Control Regimes (IECR): 1. The Wassenaar Arrangement: Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies 2. The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG): A group of countries that controls nuclear related technology andglobal nuclear commerce. 3. The Australia Group (AG) : Informal forum of countries that aims to harmonize export controls to ensure that exports do not contribute to the development of chemical or biological weapons. 4. The Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR): Informal and voluntary association of countries that share the goals of non-proliferation of unmanned delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction. India has been striving to gain membership of the IECR. Membership of these groups will allow the country entry into the mainstream of decision making rather than being kept on the margins of international rule making on such issues as export controls and non-proliferation India, Thailand to make trilateral highway ready by 2016 June 1st, 2013 Indian PM Dr. Manmohan Singh who was on a visit to Thailand and Thailand PM Yingluck Shinawatra have expressed hope for the completion of the ambitious project to develop a 3,200-km highway connectingIndia, Myanmar and Thailand by 2016. India has already granted Myanmar a loan of $500 million, a part of which will be used to fund the project.
  3. 3. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ Thailand informed India of the progress Thailand and Myanmar had made in the development of the Dawei Special Economic Zone in southern Myanmar. Once operational, the project would further enhance connectivity and open enormous business opportunities for the region. Both nations have reiterated their commitment to push further the talks for a Thailand- India Free Trade Agreement. India, Thailand sign extradition treaty June 1st, 2013 India and Thailand have signed an Extradition Treaty, concluded a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to exchange intelligence related tomoney laundering and terrorism financing and ratified the Treaty on Transfer of Sentenced Persons. The agreements were inked in the presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Thai counterpart Yingluck Shinawatra. The extradition treaty provides the legal framework for seeking extradition of fugitive offenders, including those involved in terrorism, transnational crimes and economic offences among others. What does the treaty provide for? The treaty provides for the extradition of any person who is wanted for trial or for the imposition or enforcement of a sentence by one ‗Contracting State‘ and is found in the territory of the other ‗Contracting State‘. The agreement will help both the nations in speeding up extradition of fugitives. It would further fortify the ties b/w two law enforcement agencies by providing a firm legal basis for their bilateral cooperation. Thailand has long been a refuge for underworld dons and illegitimate groups. Noted filmmaker Rituparno Ghosh passes away June 1st, 2013 Noted film-maker Rituparno Ghosh (49), who created a new wave in Bengali cinema with his thought-provoking work passed away. Rituparno Ghosh:  Rituparno Ghosh was an Indian Bengali film director.  During his two-decade long filmy career, he made 19 movies and won 12 National Awards and several international honours  His acclaimed and award winning Bengali films include Bariwali, Asukh, Utsab, Shubho Mahurat, Chokher Bali, Dosar, Shob Charitro Kalponik and Abohoman. Telecom Ministry clears project for setting up mobile towers in Naxal-affected States June 1st, 2013 The government has swung into action to beef up security in Naxal affected States after top Chhattisgarh Congress leaders including several people were killed in recent Naxal attacks. In one such step, the telecom ministry has decided to fast-track the ambitious project of setting up 2,199 mobile towers in nine Naxal-affected States, a move that would give operational advantage to security forces while dealing with the menace of Left Wing Extremism (LWE). The project has been long delayed mainly due to costing issues. The proposed towers will be set up in Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Odisha,Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra andMadhya Pradesh. Central armed police forces as well as State police have been demanding setting up of mobile towers to aid them in executing operations against the Naxals more effectively. The
  4. 4. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ project is expected to commence within next few months by the State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL). Of the total amount, Rs.1,469 crore would go for setting up of 2,199 cellular towers, while around Rs.1,600 crore would be spent on operating these towers over the next 5 years. GoM approves Coal Regulatory Authority Bill June 1st, 2013 The Coal Regulatory Authority Bill which seeks to set up an independent regulatory authority for the coal sector to address contentious issues such as pricing, supply and quality has been approved by a Group of Ministers (GoM). The bill will now be forwarded to the Cabinet for further approval. Why this Bill? The bill has been proposed to address issues related to pricing, quality and supply of coal by setting up an independent regulatory authority. The regulator would be empowered to resolve disputes including those arising out of Fuel Supply Agreements (FSAs) related to price, quality, and supplies. However, the proposed regulator will not determine fuel rates, a job that will continue to be vested with the producers. An independent regulator for the sector is considered significant for fixing guidelines for price revision, improving competitiveness in the e-auctions, setting up trading margins and increasing transparency in the allocation of reserves. The need for an independent regulatory assumes importance in the wake of coal major CIL and NTPC frequently disagreeing on quality of dry-fuel being supplied to power firms. IFC provides $5 million funds to NSL Renewable Power June 2nd, 2013 NSL Renewable Power which develops and operates renewable energy projects across India, will be provided funding of of $5 million by theInternational Finance Corporation (IFC) – a member of the World BankGroup (not to be confused with World Bank). This financing will support the company to double its power generation capacity over the next 18 months. This is for the second time the company is receiving funds from the IFC after getting a $20-million equity investment that IFC had made in the company in 2011. About NSL Renewable Power: NSL Renewable Power develops and operates renewable energy projects using biomass, wind, hydro, and solar technologies. It has an operational capacity of 185 MW across India. What is the difference b/w World Bank and World Bank Group? The World Bank was created at the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, along with three other institutions, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The World Bank and the IMF are both based in Washington DC, and work closely with each other. Difference: World Bank Group is a large group which comprises of five institutions collectively: 1. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) 2. International Development Association (IDA) 3. International Finance Corporation (IFC) 4. Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) 5. International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  5. 5. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ Whereas, World Bank is comprised of only two institutions: 1. International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) 2. International Development Association (IDA) Punjab government gives nod to online lottery system June 2nd, 2013 The Punjab government has given approval for starting an online lottery system to enhance revenues of the state. How will it work? The online lottery system would be conducted, operated and regulated in accordance to the Lottery Regulation Act, 1998 and the Punjab State Lotteries Rules, 1998. Computer terminals or other such devices, as approved by the government, will be set up at retail locations for offering lottery games. The terminals would be connected to a main data center at a central headquarter. The government would appoint a distributor or a selling agent who would design and procure, install and commission, operate and maintain, promote and market and carry out other activities to be required for managing the online lottery. The selection of the distributor or the selling agent would be done through tenders and a monitoring committee. One Stop Crisis Centre facility for women victims in Haryana June 2nd, 2013 Faridabad and Gurgaon (Haryana) will soon have ―One-Stop Crisis Centre‖ (OSCC) facility which will provide legal aid, police services and counselling to women victims under one roof. What is OSCC? OSCC is a comprehensive service which will provide medical facility along with other support services such as legal aid, police services and counselling under one roof to the victims of domestic violence and assaults. The centre will be headed by a coordinator, who will be a senior doctor of the hospital where OSCC is located. Besides the coordinator, there would be a team of around eight to 10 people comprising a counsellor, a police officer, a lawyer, two on-duty doctors and support staff like nurses, helpers, sweepers. Archaeopteryx regains Bird status June 1st, 2013 Fossil creature Archaeopteryx that lived about 150 million years ago is back on its perch. It has again been brought in the class of Birds. Background:  Archaeopteryx fossil was discovered in 1861 in Germany.  It possessed part-bird, part-reptile traits with broad wings and feathers like a bird, but it also had three-fingered claws, sharp teeth and a long bony tail similar to a dinosaur.  Classified as most primitive bird and as a transition b/w feathered dinosaurs and modern birds.  Some fossil discoveries of feathered dinosaurs in northeasternChina over the past two decades have challenged Archaeopteryx‘s place in bird evolution.  In July 2012, Chinese scientists excavated Xiaotingia zhengi, a previously unknown chicken-sized dinosaur. They carried out a statistical analysis of its anatomical traits that placed it in a group of bird-like dinosaurs called deinonychosaurs.  Recently an international team led by the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences used more sophisticated statistical method to confirm the creature as Bird.
  6. 6. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ Tags: Environment • Germany • International Fact Box: induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) June 1st, 2013 Scientists improve Yamanaka‘s invention to make iPSCs Scientists at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, Chinahave claimed that they have improved the efficiency of Shinya Yamanaka‘s invention of producing induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC) which won Nobel Prize in Medicine. What are iPSCs and how they are produced?  iPSCs are body (somatic) cells which have been reprogrammed to function like embryonic stem cells, thereby sidestepping the controversial use of killing the embryos while harvesting the stem cells.  This is done by introducing four regulatory factors (pieces of DNA) into the cells. What are the four regulatory factors?  The four regulatory factors which are also called Yamanaka‘s factors are Oct4, Klf4, c-Myc and Sox2.  These factors when when introduced in somatic cells activate or repress target genes. Expressed together they can, at low- frequency, convert cells to a relatively stable state of gene-expression similar to that seen in embryonic stem cells. What is the problem with Yamanaka‘s method?  The challenge is the success rate of conversion of somatic cells into iPSCs which is just 0.01%. What is the current finding?  As per the latest studies, it has been found that the same Yamanaka‘s factors when introduced in a specific sequence and timing enhances the efficiency of formation of iPSCs. What is the importance of research on stem cells?  The fundamental importance lies in understanding how humans develop and in understanding and treatment of disease and in regeneration.  Tension escalate b/w Egypt and Ethiopia over Nile water diversion  June 4th, 2013  Dispute b/w Egypt and Ethiopia has resurfaced over the diversion of a major Nile tributary even as Ethiopia continues construction of Africa‘s biggest dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, on the world‘s longest river.  What is the issue?  Background:  Nile, which is also famous as the longest river on the planet, is considered to originate from Lake Victoria. The river is lifeline to 11 countries namely Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, SouthSudan, Sudan and Egypt who share its water resources.  The Nile has two major tributaries, the White Nile and Blue Nile. The White Nile is longer and rises in the Great Lakes region of central Africa, with the most distant source still undetermined but located in eitherRwanda or Burundi. It flows north through Tanzania, Lake Victoria, Uganda and South Sudan. The Blue Nile is the source of most of the water and fertile soil. It begins at Lake Tana in Ethiopia and flows into Sudan from the southeast. The two rivers meet near the Sudanese capital of Khartoum.
  7. 7. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  Conflict:  As the water resources of the Nile is shared by many countries, the self- interest of each country and their political, strategic, and social differences has led to disputes over water sharing. Several attempts have been made to establish agreements between the countries sharing the Nile water which is largely dominated by Egypt. Countries including Uganda, Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya have complained about Egyptian domination.  Ethiopia, which is constructing Africa‘s biggest dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile, has diverted the course of the Blue Nile to commence construction of the dam. The 6000-megawatt, $4.3 billion hydropower project has stirred controversy since it was first announced in March 2011. Ethiopia is the source of the Blue Nile, a major tributary that joins the White Nile in Sudan and accounts for nearly 60% of Nile water. Once complete, the dam shall stand at the head of a 74 billion cubic metre reservoir, the filling of which is expected to critically disrupt downstream flows to Egypt and Sudan.  Egypt is against the diversion of water as it depends on the river for almost all its fresh water requirements and consumes two-thirds of the water under a colonial agreement first signed in 1929. The treaty divides the water b/w Sudan and Egypt and overlooks the claims of eight other nations that share the waters.  IndusInd Bank ties up with American Express to launch credit card for affluent customers  June 2nd, 2013  IndusInd Bank has joined hands with American Express to unveil IndusInd Bank Iconia American Express Card for its rich customers.  Card Benefits  The card offers its customers reward points and lifestyle benefits such as golf, entertainment, travel and dining.  Subscribers of the card will get a reward of 1.5 point on weekdays and of 2 points on the weekends on every Rs 100 they spend. These points can then be redeemed for cash credit at full value, i.e, a rupee for each reward point and for partner air miles.  IndusInd Bank ventured into the credit card sector after acquiring Deutsche Bank‘s loss making credit card business from its Indian operations in 2011.  Tags: Banking • Entertainment • IBPS • IT  Fact Box: India Post 2012 Project  June 2nd, 2013  What is ‗India Post 2012‘ project?  ‗India Post 2012‘ project is a multi-faceted IT automation programme which was cleared in year 2010 by Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs with a total outlay of 1877.2 crores.  Vision of the Project:  India Post 2012 aims at transforming Department of Posts into a ―Technology Enabled, Self Reliant Market Leader‖. This translates into 5 initiatives covering increased market share and revenues, new products and services, improved service delivery, motivated workforce and rural development.  As part of 11th five year plan, this IT modernization project has been undertaken in two phases. In Phase-I, post offices up to double handed levels were supplied
  8. 8. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ with IT hardware and in Phase-II, the program has been built on 3 cornerstones as follows:  Infrastructure – The project aims to establish Data Centre / disaster recovery centres to house all transactions and data, nationwide networking of all post offices including rural post offices, supply of computer hardware to non computerized post offices, mail offices and rural post offices with a vision to create a fully managed, secure and centrally governed IT infrastructure.  Software Solutions – Creation of integrated, modular software solution covering Postal operations, Banking, Insurance, logistics, help desk and call centre. The IT project also envisages accrual based accounting and centralized payroll processing. The project will also bring in ecommerce solution enabling India Post to make all web and mobile based transactions.  Change/Project Management – The IT Project mandated changes in operational procedures and processes. The Department has done a detailed business process reengineering exercise and prepared the ‗To Be‘ document for future applications. Therefore, during the implementation of the project, there would be an immense requirement of employee participation and change management activities to ensure readiness of employees to adopt the solution. The IT Project will carry out this important activity by conducting workshops, training, re-skilling for enabling change and addressing concerns and issues of employees. It will also cater to communication and awareness at regular intervals to drive change.  Project Benefits:  Benefits for Customers:  · Better financial inclusion for the common man in the rural and semi-urban locations at par with the urban locations, through mobile remittances, mobile banking, mobile insurance etc.  · Effective and transparent delivery of social security and employment guarantee schemes  · Increased consistency and reliability in mail, parcels and logistics delivery system in line with global standards  · Multiple channels of access to customers through post office counters, kiosks, internet, mobiles, ATMs etc.  · Better visibility of various articles in the mail stream and transparency in financial services such as banking, insurance etc.  · Improved customer satisfaction due to faster and more reliable services in postal, logistics, banking, insurance and retail operations  Benefits for Department of Post (DoP):  · Significant enhancement in revenue & market shares as multitude of products will be improved and new products/ services will be launched (e.g. eGovernance, Rural ICT)  · Better decision making and operational planning due to availability of management information in a timely manner  · Potential reduction in the transaction cost and availability of manpower for redeployment in marketing and other revenue generating capabilities  · Increased productivity and accountability  Benefits for Employees:
  9. 9. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  · Employees will have an opportunity to learn, build and enhance new skills and expertise  · Reduction in manual work which will result in enhanced productivity levels  · Opportunity to deliver enhanced IT enabled services to their customers leading to a significant reduction in customer complaints  · Improvement in employee engagement and empowerment  · Provide an opportunity to work in an innovation based culture   · Opportunity to be part of a growing and vibrant organization  TCS gets Rs 1,100-cr contract from India Post  June 2nd, 2013  Tata Consultancy Services, India‘s largest software exporter has bagged a six-year Rs 1,100-crore systems integration contract from India Post as part of the latter‘s ‗India Post 2012‘ programme to modernize its technology infrastructure.  The scope of the project, includes developing and supporting mail, finance and accounts, HR, and customer interaction management solutions for all channels including Rural ICT platform.  Under the contract, TCS will also manage data migration, infrastructure, Service Level Agreement (SLA), call centre and centralised 24x7 service desk operation for Department of Post (DoP).  Increased urbanization, demand for financial services, increased funding by the government for the weaker sections and the rural sector have opened up new opportunities for India Post, which has necessitated development of new processes and supporting technology.  Madhya Pradesh govt to listen to oustees of the Omkareshwar dam project  June 2nd, 2013  The MP government has decided to hear out the issues of the oustees of the Omkareshwar dam project who have been protesting standing in waist to neck- deep water, for the last two weeks as part of their jal satyagraha.  Why this protest?  The jal satyagraha was started by the oustees in May 2013 to at Ghogalgaon village in M.P.‘s East Nimaar region to protest against the state government‘s decision to raise the water level in the dam to 193 metres from 189 without ensuring prior relief and rehabilitation, including land for land, to the oustees.  As per State‘s official release, some affected families, having already received monetary compensation in lieu of land, have been misled into demanding land for land and have not moved from the dam site. But as per court orders, only those displaced families who have not received any compensation money from the banks are eligible for land in lieu of land and those protesting should keep that in mind before assessing the validity of their movement.  The Omkareshwar Project:  The 520 MW Omkareshwar project is one of the several big dams in the Narmada Valley, built by the Narmada Hydroelectric Development Corporation, a joint venture between NHPC Ltd and the government ofMadhya Pradesh.
  10. 10. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ Egypt highest court declares Shura Council illegal June 4th, 2013 In a major blow to Islamists in Egypt, country‘s highest court declared the nation‘s Islamist-dominated legislature and constitutional panel illegal questioning the legal basis of the Islamists‘ hold on power.  Shura Council is the upper house of Parliament which was given legislative powers last year after Parliament was dissolved. As per the court ruling, the Shura Council, a historically powerless body elected by 7% of the electorate which was pushed into a legislative role when Parliament was dissolved, would maintain its powers until Lower House is elected later this year. However, the constitution of the country will remain in place because it was adopted by a popular referendum. The constitution was adopted in a nationwide vote in December with a relatively low turnout of about 35%. The court also invalidated the clauses in a 1958 law giving the President far-reaching powers under a state of emergency. The invalidated clauses had allowed suspects to be arrested with little recourse and imposed restrictions on the freedoms of movement and assembly. Russia to supply sophisticated MiG fighter planes to Syria June 4th, 2013 Russia is planning to supply its latest MiG fighter planes to Syria which would strengthen to the country‘s air defence capabilities. As per the contract signed with Syria, Russia would deliver more than 10 MiG-29M2 planes. The MiG-29M2 will enhance the Syrian capability against possible attacks by Israel or NATO.  The issue supply of arms has become a cause of concern for the West and the Arab countries who doubt that these arms would be used by the Syrian army to suppress the uprising going there. However Russia has maintained that it had given Syria only ―defensive‖ weapons, mainly short-range air defence systems and anti-ship missiles, to protect itself against foreign intervention. Russia has strong, stable, and friendly relationship with Syria in terms of both trade and strategic. Defense Ministry promulgates new Defence Procurement Procedure June 4th, 2013 With the aim to enhance transparency and probity in defence purchases and to give a boost to indigenous industries, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) has promulgated a new procedure- The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2013. What are the key features of DPP 2013?  The Defence Procurement Procedure (DPP) 2013 aims to balance the competing requirements of expediting capital procurement, developing a robust indigenous defence sector and conforming to the highest standards of transparency, probity and public accountability, while laying a strong emphasis on promoting indigenisation and creating a level playing field for the Indian industry.  The new procedure gives the first right of refusal to Indian vendors to promote indigenous industry.  To give impetus to indigenization, higher preference explicitly to the Buy [Indian], Buy and Make [Indian] and Make categorisation, besides bringing further clarity in the definition of the ‗Indigenous Content‘ and simplifying the Buy and Make [Indian] process.
  11. 11. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  To expedite procurement procedure, the new policy has slashed the validity of Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) from two years to one year with a stipulation to freeze the Service Qualitative Requirements before the accord of the AoN.  Any request for extending the timeline for submitting bids will have to be made two weeks prior to the bid submission dates. This has been done in order to encourage timely submission of the bids by the vendors and to discourage last minute requests for extension of time. Kerala launches Seaplane service June 4th, 2013 With an aim to boost tourism in the state launched the seaplane service at a function on the Asramam banks of Ashtamudi Lake amid protests from the fishing community who are of the view that the service would affect their business. What would the Seaplane service offer? The seaplane service will be available for tourists who wish to have a panoramic view of Kerala landscape. The service will be offered by using six-seat Cessna 206 H amphibian aircrafts which can land and take-off from both land and water. Union Government approves National Oil Spill Contingency Plan June 4th, 2013 In order to mitigate the impact of oil spills on the marine environment the Union Government has approved the National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSDCP). The central objective behind this plan is to reduce the impact of all oil spills on the environment by setting specific standards for oil spill equipment stockpiles, establishing time frames for oil spill response and enhancing collaboration among partner agencies. Massive efforts were put in by the various resource agencies and stakeholders for cleaning of oiled mangroves at Sikka and Sarmat in the Gulf of Kutchchh, capping of gas leak from the ONGC well off Kakinada, and response to the fire onboard M.V Amsterdam Bridge off the Mumbai harbour. The government feels the need for periodical review of contingency plans in order to ensure speedy and efficient mobilisation of critical resources in the event of any oil spill exigency. Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill June 5th, 2013 Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill gets Cabinet‘s nod With the aim to bring uniformity in the regulation of realty sector, the Union Cabinet has cleared the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Bill. What does the Bill hold? The bill seeks to:  Set up a regulator for the real estate sector with provisions for a jail term for the developer for putting out misleading advertisements about projects.  Provide a uniform regulatory environment to the real estate sector.  Make it mandatory for developers to launch projects only after acquiring all statutory clearances from relevant authorities.  To deter builders from putting out misleading advertisements related to the projects carrying photographs of the actual site.  Slap a penalty of up to 10% of the project cost to the first time offenders and a repeat offence could land the developer in jail.
  12. 12. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  Make it mandatory for a developer to maintain a separate bank account for every project to ensure that the money raised for a particular task is not diverted.  Provide for clear definition of ‗carpet area‘ and would prohibit private developers from selling houses or flats on the basis of ambiguous ‗super area‘.  Builders will be able to sell property only after getting all necessary clearances.  Forbid developers from collecting money from buyers before completing all necessary permits to start construction on the project. Rajasthan to get two new airports June 5th, 2013 As per Airports Authority of India (AAI), the civil airports in Jaisalmer and Bikaner in Rajasthan will be made operational before the end of this year. Both airports will be inaugurated in August this year. The AAI will conduct surveys about unused airstrips and old airport buildings in Rajasthan which could be renovated and developed for improving air connectivity in the State. Besides, the authority will soon begin work on the proposed airport at Kishangarh in Ajmer for which the State government has already provided land. PSC seeks public views on Agriculture Biosecurity Bill, 2013 June 5th, 2013 The Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) on Agriculture which is headed by Basudeb Acharia has sought public opinion on Agriculture Biosecurity Bill, 2013 that envisages for the setting up of an Integrated National Biosecurity System which will cover plant, animal, marine and farm microorganisms to fight threats of bioterrorism from pests and weeds. It has also sought suggestions from experts, stakeholders, individuals and institutions on pricing of agricultural produce, particularly on the methodology of fixing the minimum support price, need to broad-base the crops covered, market intervention to protect farmers from distress sale and need for an integrated price structure. What are the key proposals in Agriculture Biosecurity Bill, 2013? The Agriculture Biosecurity Bill, 2013, introduced in Lok Sabha inMarch 2013, will repeal the Destructive Insects and Pests Act and the Livestock Importation Act of 1898. It proposes to set up an Agriculture Biosecurity Authority (ABA) for prevention, control, eradication and management of pests and diseases of plants and animals and unwanted organisms. The Bill is also meant to fulfill India‘sinternational obligations to facilitate import and export of plants, plant products, animals, animal products, aquatic organisms and regulation of agriculturally important microorganisms. The ABA will regulate the export and import of plants, animals and related products, prevent entry of quarantine pests from outside India and take steps for post-entry quarantine measures. What is need for Agriculture Biosecurity Bill, 2013? With increasing liberalization of international trade in agriculture there is an elevated risk of introduction of exotic pests and weeds in the country that can cause serious economic damage. It is also imperative to properly assess the risk Genetically Modified Organisms for their proper management. Climate change too has the potential to alter the habitat of known pests and even introduce new pests. The emergence and spread of trans- boundary diseases such as avian influenza, the Ug-99 wheat stem rust fungus pose new dangers to human, animal and plant safety. To combat these issues effectively, the Agriculture Biosecurity Bill, 2013 has been proposed which seeks to set up ABA to improve safety, efficiency, transparency and compliance of quarantine and
  13. 13. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ pest management regulations and respond swiftly to contain biosecurity problems. It will also ensure the conduct of bio-secure international trade in agriculture. Scripps National Spelling Bee contest: Indian-Americans dominate for 6th consecutive year June 4th, 2013 Indian-American Arvind Mahankali (13) won the Scripps National Spelling Bee contest, as children from the community created history by dominating the prestigious contest for the 6th year in a row, holding top three positions this year. This is the sixth consecutive year that an Indian-American has won the contest, which was watched live by millions of people in the United States. The Scripps National Spelling Bee (commonly called the National Spelling Bee) is an annual spelling bee held in the United States. Anyone who is in eighth grade or below and is under 16 years old is eligible for this contest. Participants from countries other than the U.S. must be regional spelling-bee winners as well. The winner of the Scripps National Spelling Bee receives a $30,000 cash prize  A ‗spelling bee‘ is a competition in which contestants are asked to spell words. ‗Project Ananta‘: Planning Commission approves the project June 4th, 2013 The Planning Commission has given its ‗in principle‘ approval to the ―Project Ananta‖ which is a pilot project aimed at development of the drought-prone Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh. The Rs 8,000-crore project will take a holistic approach to achieve the target. The project has been approved after a high-level committee headed by Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) had visited the drought-hit Anantapur district last year and submitted a report. It suggested that the district needed a five-year plan to take stock of the situation and prepare a plan to address issues such as natural resource management, crops and livestock. The report envisages a shift in agricultural topography of the district suggesting the farmers to go for cluster bean, pulses and horticulture while also taking up dairy and allied activities in a big way for employment generation. The government currently spends over Rs.1,000 crore as input subsidy, crop insurances, beside other compensatory measures, to ease the financial stress of the farmers. The new project would be the biggest ever targeted at handling the problems of the district after the Desert Development Programme a decade ago. Nawaz Sharif takes oath to the PM office of Pakistan June 6th, 2013 Nawaz Sharif of PML-N party has sworn in as the Prime Minister ofPakistan for his 3rd term after formally being elected as the Prime Minister by the National Assembly. Sharif has regained the reigns of Pakistan after 14 years after he was forced to leave the office in a military coup and went into exile. He was sworn-in by the President Asif Ali Zardari. Sharif is a leading industrialist of Pakistan and the owner of Ittefaq Group, a leading business conglomerate of Pakistan. India, 8 other nations exempted from sanctions for Iranian oil import June 6th, 2013
  14. 14. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ The United States has exempted India and eight other nations from sanctions for importing oil from Iran, keeping in view that these countries have considerably cut their dependence on Iranian oil in the last six months. Who have qualified for this exemption? As per the US statement- India, China, Malaysia, Republic of Korea,Singapore, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Turkey, and Taiwan have qualified for an exception to sanctions under America‘s Iran Sanctions Act, based on additional significant reductions in the volume of their crude oil purchases from Iran or for reducing those purchases to zero and remaining there. Why these sanctions on Iran? These sanctions are one of the US measures aimed to step up the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program, which Washington suspects is aimed at making weapons but Iran insists is for generating electricity and medical research. The US hopes the pressure will compel Iran to come clean on its nuclear activity so that the US and its allies can avoid any military intervention to prevent the Islamic republic from obtaining an atomic arsenal. Cairn India seeks RoFR through New Shale Gas Policy June 5th, 2013 Cairn India has requested the Petroleum and Natural Gas Ministry to ensure that the proposed new shale gas exploration policy offers the right of first refusal (RoFR) to all currently operating blocks without discriminating b/w NELP and pre-NELP blocks. Currently, the draft shale gas policy being prepared by the government has a mechanism to give the first right of refusal to existing contractors holding oil and gas blocks. Cairn India has urged that the RoFR should be available to all currently operating blocks, irrespective of pre-NELP or NELP, to ensure consistency and uniform implementation of the shale gas policy. Besides, it also wants existing licences/leases to be given the exclusive rights to explore and develop all hydrocarbon resources encountered in a block and/or shale to avoid over-lapping licences/leases pose significant risks and operational conflicts, leading to conflicting claims to resource ownership, sub-optimal utilisation of capital, hampering development of hydrocarbon molecules present in multiple forms. What is RoFR? Right of first refusal (ROFR or RFR) is a contractual right that gives its holder the option to enter a business transaction with the owner of something, according to specified terms, before the owner is entitled to enter into that transaction with a third party. In brief, the right of first refusal is similar in concept to a call option. An ROFR can cover almost any sort of asset, including real estate, personal property, a patent license, a screenplay, or an interest in a business. How ROFR is different form Right of First Offer (ROFO)? An ROFR differs from a Right of First Offer (ROFO, also known as a Right of First Negotiation) in that the ROFO merely obliges the owner to undergo exclusive good faith negotiations with the rights holder before negotiating with other parties. A ROFR is an option to enter a transaction on exact or approximate transaction terms. A ROFO is merely an agreement to negotiate. Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP): UGC forms advisory committee on DU‘s new format June 5th, 2013
  15. 15. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ The University Grants Commission (UGC) has set up an advisory committee, headed by S. K. Joshi, member UGC and former Director-General of CSIR, to monitor the progress of the implementation of the new Four-Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) being introduced by Delhi University. The panel will also offer corrective advice on the issue of curriculum. There is a widespread confusion and protest over the new four-year format of undergraduate degree courses being implemented by the DU. Enforcement Directorate serves Rs.8,600-cr penalty notice on Emaar MGF June 5th, 2013 Construction giant Emaar MGF Land Limited has been served a show-cause notice by the Enforcement Directorate for alleged breach of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) worth about Rs.8,600 crore by false representation on utilization of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). What is the violation? The RBI provides this FDI scheme facility to Indian companies under an automatic route to receive funds from abroad for a number of businessactivities, including construction development projects. The companies receiving funds have to disclose the purpose — from the list of permitted activities by RBI — for which the FDI had been received. As per allegations, the Emaar company which received funds from its four subsidiaries from Dubai, Cyprus, Mauritius and other foreign countries under the FDI scheme gave false information about the use of those funds as it stated the funds were used in construction project but it allegedly utilized the overseas funds in the purchase of agricultural land and other plots in India. This use of overseas funds was not disclosed to the RBI nor was it permitted under the FDI scheme. The ED has found Emaar MGF and its four subsidiaries guilty of contravention of Section 6(3)(b) of the FEMA Act, for a total amount of about Rs.8,600 crore. It is possible that the penalty proceedings against these violations would also be undertaken which could take up the total penalty amount to Rs.25,000 crore, which is 300% of the violations detected. Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA):  Passed in 1999  Objective: To replace FERA (Foreign Exchange Regulations Act), 1973 which had become incompatible after economic reforms and pro-liberalization policies of the Government of India.  Seeks to make offenses related to foreign exchange civil offenses.  Allows only the authorized people to deal with foreign security or foreign exchange.  ONGC adopts six monuments under Campaign Clean India  June 7th, 2013  The Archeological Survey of India (ASI) has agreed to the initiative ofMinistry of Tourism for permitting ONGC for adopting six monuments under Campaign Clean India. The six monuments/tourist destinations are: Taj Mahal at Agra, Ellora Caves in Maharashtra, Elephanta Caves in Maharashtra, Red Fort in Delhi, Golkonda Fort Hyderabad and Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu. ONGC is adopting these monuments as part of their corporate social responsibilities and it is the endeavor of Ministry of Tourism that Campaign Clean India is carried out for maximum number of monuments/tourist destinations so
  16. 16. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ that tourists instill the feelings and spirit of cleanliness and respect for such monuments.  What is ―Campaign Clean India‖?  The ―Campaign Clean India‖ is a programme being run by the Ministry of Tourism aimed at undertaking both sensitization and action at field level on bringing our tourism destinations and their surroundings to an acceptable level of cleanliness and hygiene. The Campaign will ensure that these levels are sustained through ownership and involvement of private and public sector stakeholders. The campaign will be part of Government‘s strategy of the 12th five year plan for improving the quality of services and environs in and around tourist destinations across India.  Uttarakhand CM opposes declaring Gomukh-Gangotri as eco-sensitive zone  June 7th, 2013  Uttarakhand Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna has urged the Centre to review the recent notification declaring the 100 km stretch from Gomukh to Uttarkashi as an eco-sensitive zone. The declaration is being opposed by the locals in that area who are saying that if the notification is implemented it would adversely affect the infrastructuredevelopment in the border district.  As per the Chief Minister, the locals are hopeful that the power projects under construction or planned there would help in developing the backward economy of the region. Besides, he is also of the view that if the notification is implemented then it will impede Border road projects which is also needed to be constructed at the earliest keeping in mind the infrastructure development being carried out by China close to the Indian border.  Japan conducts successful test of new Maglev Bullet Train  June 7th, 2013  Japan has successfully performed the first successful test of new generation L0 Series Trains (maglev bullet trains) designed to travel at speeds of 311 mph. These trains have latest Magnetic levitation technology (maglev) instead of the conventional wheels. The commercial services of this series of trains will start in 2027. What is special about these trains?  These trains are also called ‗floating‘ trains as there is lack of friction due to the new maglev technology which makes acceleration and deceleration faster and they are unaffected by weather conditions. The train will have 16 carriages and will carry up to 1000 passengers at a time.  Japan had launched its first bullet train named Shinkansen in 1964 to concur with its hosting of the Olympic Games. Currently, Japan has the World‘s most sophisticated rail network.  First All-Women Police Station starts functioning in Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh)  June 6th, 2013  To combat the issue of increasing crimes against the women, the first all-women police station started functioning in Itanagar (Arunachal Pradesh).
  17. 17. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  The state cabinet had recently passed a proposal to set up all-women police station. To deal with crime against women, the state cabinet has also approved the creation of separate cells in all the seventeen district headquarters and the Police headquarters of the state. To run these cells the state is also running a special recruitment drive for recruiting women police personnel.  Duty hiked on the import of Gold and Platinum  June 6th, 2013  With an aim to curb the soaring CAD and depletion in the value of rupee, the government has raised the import duty on Gold and Platinum from previous 6% to 8%. The increase is targeted at discouraging import of gold, which is a key factor contributing in the rise in Current Account Deficit (CAD) affecting country‘s foreign exchange reserves as well as the rupee value.  This is the second in the duty in six months as gold imports reached a worrying 162 tonnes in May 2013. In the last two months the imports of the metal has led to the outflow of 15 billion US dollars. The CAD, which is a difference between inflow and outflow of foreign currency, touched a historic high of 6.7% of GDP in the quarter ending December 2012. Fact Box: Indian Banks‘ Association (IBA) June 7th, 2013 K R Kamath re-elected as IBA‘s Chairman K R Kamath, the chairman and managing director of Punjab National Bank (PNB), has been re-elected as the Chairman of the Indian Banks‘ Association (IBA) for 2013-14 tenure. Indian Banks‘ Association (IBA)  Established on September 26, 1946.  It is an association of Indian banks and financial institutions. It is based in Mumbai.  Currently represents a total of 173 banking companies which are operating in India.  Objective: Strengthening, development and coordination of the Indian banking. It also facilitates various member banks.  The Managing Committee of the IBA consists of a chairman, three deputy chairmen, one honorary secretary as well as 26 members. Susan Rice will be US National Security Adviser June 7th, 2013 President Barack Obama to appointment Ms Susan Rice as national security adviser for US Govt. Ms Susan Rice who currenttly US ambassador at the UN, will take over the position in July 2013 from Mr Tom Donilon. The decision to appoint Ms Rice is a noncompliant gesticulate towards Republicans in Congress. The position of national security adviser does not necessitates Senate confirmation. Ms Rice‘s appointment underscores the President Obama‘s orientation for filling his inner circle with people he knows well. Amazon.in launched in India June 7th, 2013 Online retailing giant Amazon unveiled its India marketplace, ‗Amazon.in‘, offering books, movies and television shows for sale. However, currently, Amazon will not own any of the merchandise that is sold but will act as channel for any retailer who wants to sell its products on the website.
  18. 18. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ World Environment Day Observed globally with the theme: ―Think. Eat. Save- Reduce Your Foodprint‖ June 7th, 2013 World Environment Day was observed in India and across the globe on June 5. The day was dedicated by the UN Conference on Human Environment in 1972 for the cause of spreading awareness about environment protection. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) disseminates environmental awareness through the celebration of World Environment Day to get citizens‘ support for environment protection across the globe. This year‘s World Environment Day theme: ―Think. Eat. Save- Reduce Your Foodprint― The campaign bespeaks minimizing waste of food at all stages of the food chain, from farm to fork. This is to increase awareness about the environmental consequences of our food choices and find solutions to reduce our environmental ―foodprint‖, as food production has heavy impact on environmental resources. Agriculture is responsible for 70% of fresh water consumption, 80% of deforestation, and 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is the cause of land-use change, biodiversity loss, and responsible for large-scale soil, water and air pollution. The campaign is also to remind each one of us that despite producing enough food for everyone, 90 crore people still go hungry world over. It is time we took pledge to make a difference, individually as well as collectively, to reduce food loss or wastage and move towards a world where everyone has enough to eat and no one is malnourished or undernourished. Tomas Brunegard is new WAN-IFRA president June 7th, 2013 Tomas Brunegård, chairman of Sweden‘s Stampen Media Group, has been elected as the new president of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-INFRA). He will have a two-year term. He succeeds Jacob Mathew of the Kerala-based Malayala Manorama . The 65th World Newspaper Congress, the 20th World Editors Forum, and the 23rd World Advertising Forum were held in Bangkok. About WAN-IFRA  WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world‘s newspapers and news publishers.  It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries.  Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of thriving businesses. 45% of deaths of under-five children caused by malnutrition: Report June 7th, 2013 As per a latest report published in The Lancet, malnutrition has been blamed to be the reason behind the deaths of nearly 45% children under-five. As per the research report:  Malnutrition is responsible for around 3.1 million deaths in children under five every year.
  19. 19. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  Stunting (reduced growth) affected at least 165 million children worldwide in 2011 while at least 52 million children were affected by wasting (low weight for height), and 100 million children were underweight.  Over 90% of these were in Asia or Africa, with Africa the only major world region where the number of children with stunting increased.  In 2012, a study report titled HUNGaMA brought shame to the nation by revealing the grim picture of nutrition in India. The study was conducted on more than one lakh children across six States of India which found that as many as 42% of under-fives were severely or moderately underweight and that 59% of them suffered from moderate to severe stunting.  Undernutrition affects development of a child, with consequences ranging from poorer school performance to increased susceptibility to infectious disease.  Low-and middle-income countries also face the problem of maternal under-nutrition which leads to premature birth and stunted growth which in turn makes the infant vulnerable to several diseases. Maternal undernutrition is estimated to be responsible for more than a quarter of all newborn deaths.  The consequences of malnutrition, including stunting, wasting and underweight (low weight for age), all of which result in increased risk of death and illness for both pregnant women and children.  Deficiencies of vitamin A and zinc result in deaths; deficiencies of iodine and iron, together with stunting, can contribute to children not reaching their developmental potential.  Suboptimum breastfeeding results in an increased risk for mortality in the first 2 years of life.  Maternal overweight and obesity result in increased maternal morbidity and infant mortality.  Childhood overweight is becoming an increasingly important contributor to adult obesity, diabetes, and non-communicable diseases. Centre returns West Bengal ponzi Bill for rectification June 7th, 2013 The Centre has returned the West Bengal Bill, aimed at reining in ponzi firms. The Centre expressed reservations about the ―retrospective effect‖ clause and asked the State government to rectify it. The West Bengal Protection of Interest of Depositors in Financial Establishments Bill, 2013 was passed recently, after the Saradha Group scam shocked the State. The Opposition parties argued that in criminal laws, retrospective effect could not be given. The law also authorizes officials to visit any premises, search documents and seize and confiscate property of offenders. NAC re-constituted, tribal expert Virginius Xaxa replaces Aruna Roy June 7th, 2013 Union Government has restructured the National Advisory Council by inducting eminent sociologist Virginius Xaxa into the 12-member panel headed by Sonia Gandhi. Xaxa is a Professor at the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Guwahati and has worked extensively on tribal communities of the country Aruna Roy who had criticised PM Manmohan Singh for refusing to pay the beneficiaries of the MGNREGA in line with the Minimum Wages Act, had written to Sonia Gandhi
  20. 20. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ requesting not to consider her for another term of the Council and result was that her request was accepted. Some facts about National Advisory Council (NAC): The NAC comprises prominent professionals chosen from diverse fields of development activity who serve in their individual capacities.  NAC provides inputs in the formulation of policy by the Government and supports the Government in its legislative workings.  NAC has a special focus on social policy and the rights of the disadvantaged groups.  It must be noted that the term of panel has been made co-terminus with the term of the present government. Tags: IBPS • Persons in News • Socio-Economic Obesity and poor nutrition costs world economy $1.4 trillion: FAO June 7th, 2013 As per the latest report of the Rome based U.N.‘s Food and AgricultureOrganisation (FAO), obesity and poor nutrition cost dearly for the global economy and suggested the governments that investing in foodhealth would bring big economic as well as social returns. As per the report:  World economy incurs loss of around $1.4 trillion a year on the account of lost productivity and spiralling health care bills linked to obesity.  12.5 % of the world‘s population — or 868 million people — are still undernourished, while 26% of children are stunted by malnutrition.  Low and middle-income countries are witnessing rapid rise in obesity cases, Mexico is the country with highest rates of obesity in the world.  Some 1.4 billion people in the world are now overweight and a third of them are obese.  Some countries have both under-nourishment and obesity problems.  The costs of undernutrition are estimated at two-three percent of global GDP, equivalent to $1.4 to $2.1 trillion per year. What are the possible Solutions ? Governments across the world can enhance nutritional outlook by investing in better agricultural policies on nutrition include changes in production, with micronutrient fertilisers, bio-fortified crops and crop and livestock diversification. They must encourage dietary diversity and promote agricultural systems which are not oriented solely to production of cereals but also giving equal importance to other nutrient-rich foods like fruit, vegetables, fish, meat and eggs. Investing in the reduction of micronutrient deficiencies, for example, would result in better health, fewer child deaths and increased future earnings. Improving nutrition would boost earnings, ―with a benefit-to-cost ratio of almost 13 to 1‖. UK‘s Northern Ireland gears up for G-8 summit June 7th, 2013 The 39th G8 summit will be held in the United Kingdom‘s NorthernIreland on June 17- 18, 2013. G-8  The Group of Eight (G8) is a group made up of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  21. 21. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  Initially the group had only 6 member Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom and United States were the initial member countries and it was then known as G6 or group of six.  Russia is the country to last join the group in 1997, making it G-8 from G-7. National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) established by Government June 8th, 2013 In order to Coordinate and Harmonize the Skill Development Efforts of the Government of India and the Private Sector to Achieve the Skilling Targets of the 12th Plan, the Government has set up the National Skill Development Agency (NSDA) by subsuming the Prime Minister‘s National Council on Skill Development (PMNCSD), the National Skill Development Coordination Board (NSDCB) and the Office of the Adviser to the PM on Skill Development. Aim: To coordinate and harmonize the skill development efforts of the Government of India and the private sector to achieve the skilling targets of the 12th Plan and beyond. It will endeavor to bridge the social, regional, gender and economic divide by ensuring that the skilling needs of the disadvantaged and marginalized groups like SCs, STs, OBCs, minorities, women and differently-abled persons are addressed through the various skill development programmes. The NSDA will develop and monitor an overarching framework for skill development, anchor the National Skills Qualifications Framework (NSQF) and facilitate the setting-up of professional certifying bodies in addition to the existing ones. It will be an autonomous body headed by a person of the rank and status of a Cabinet Minister supported by a Director General and other support staff. The existing Central Ministries and National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) will continue to implement schemes in their responsibility. Fact Box: ―ROSHNI‖ – A new programme launched by Rural Development Ministry in 24 naxal affected districts June 8th, 2013 The Ministry for Rural Development has launched a new skill development scheme called Roshni for rural youth from 24 most critical left-wing extremism affected districts in the country. ROSHNI:  Aim: Skilling and Placement of 50,000 youth from 24 selected naxal affected districts.  Cost : Rs 100 crore over the next 3 years, will be shared jointly by the centre and state governments in the ratio of 75:25  Districts Targeted: Six districts each from Jharkhand andOdisha, five from Chhattisgarh, two from Bihar and one each fromAndhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Madhya Pradeshand Maharashtra.  Monitoring and coordination of the programme will be done by national level agencies.  At least 50% of the candidates covered under the scheme shall be women and special efforts will be made to proactively cover Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups on a priority basis.  Beneficiaries aged b/w 18-35 years with requisite aptitude depending upon the trade or job requirements are to be selected as per the Participatory Identification of Poor.  Training will be imparted through public-private and public-public partnerships.
  22. 22. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  Educational institutions, corporate entities, entities that train and place for improved public service delivery, commercial and not for profit training providers will be roped in.  Four training models with duration ranging from 3 months to one year shall be taken up to meet the diverse needs of youth depending on their entry level qualifications. World Oceans Day observed on June 8, 2013 June 8th, 2013 World Ocean Day was observed across the globe on 8 June 2013. The theme for this year is: Together, we have the Power to Protect the Oceans. Although World Ocean Day was introduced in 1992 at Rio de Janeiro, it was in 2008 when United Nations General Assembly decided to designate June 8 as the World Oceans Day from 2009 onwards with its resolution number 63/111, Paragraph 171. Importance: The day focuses on raising global awareness of the current challenges faced by the international community in connection with the oceans. Fact Box: e-BRC (Bank Realization Certificate) June 8th, 2013 MoU inked b/w DGFT and Government of Delhi to use e-BRC (Bank Realization Certificate) An MoU was signed b/w the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) and Commissioner (Trade and Taxes) and Government of NCT of Delhi for making use of electronic Bank Realization Certificate (e-BRC). With this, Delhi has become the second state to sign the MoU. The first state to sign this MoU was Maharashtra. What is e-BRC?  e-BRC is electronic form of earlier physical Bank Realization Certificate. It was launched in 2012 by thethe Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) to reduce transaction cost to exporters, who will not be required to make any request to bank for issuance of bank export and realisation certificate (BRC).  BRC is issued by a bank after realization of export proceeds in the country. It is an important document required for claiming benefits under various Foreign Trade Policy schemes. In addition, BRC data is used by VAT, Income Tax and Drawback departments. Finance Ministry asks IBA to set up independent body to oversee CDR mechanism June 8th, 2013 The Indian Banks‘ Association (IBA) has been asked by the Finance Ministry to set up an independent body to oversee the Corporate Debt Restructuring (CDR) mechanism. The step has taken after witnessing a surge in the number of debt restructurings over the past two years. Both the IBA and the finance ministry has expressed concern that banks and their clients are taking undue advantage of the CDR mechanism, deferring the issue of Non-Performing Assets‘ (NPA) formation. Under CDR, there were 106 cases of restructured loans, of Rs 76,470 crore, in 2012-13. This was a rise from 50 cases (exposure of Rs 39,600 crore) the previous year. The Independent Body:
  23. 23. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  The independent oversight mechanism will not have any government representative or any serving banker but some experts who will scrutinize from the correctness point of view whether the case referred is genuine.  The committee will act as an advisory body which will help the banks examine a particular case and it will not be mandatory for a bank to go to the committee.  The finance ministry has been asking banks to deal strictly with wilful defaulters and to become more aggressive on loan recovery.  The Reserve Bank of India has also made the debt recast norm tougher. It has said all loans to be restructured after April 1, 2015, should be classified as NPA. Bryan brothers clinch French Open men‘s doubles 2013 June 10th, 2013 American Twin brothers Bob and Mike Bryan bagged their record 14th major doubles title by vanquishing Michael Llodra and Nicolas Mahut of France in the French Open men‘s doubles final. The Bryans had won their only other French Open in 2003. Fact Box: Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) June 8th, 2013 IIT-Madras develops new technology for mass housing Researchers in the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) have developed a method of design and construction to make use of Glass Fibre Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) panels to construct rapid, cost-effective mass housing. The institute has also inaugurated a ‗GFRG demo building‘ comprising four flats in a two-storeyed building has been constructed inside the campus. What is GFRG?  Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum (GFRG) is comprised of a mixture of raw gypsum and cement, laminated to layers of long strand, continuous glass fiber matting. What are the applications of GFRG?  GFRG can be used wherever a light, strong and fire retardant material is required (casinos, hotels, theaters, residential, etc.). GFRG is for use where it is not subject to dampness.  It should not be exposed to rain or for fountains, pools or wet locations. It is used inMoldings, Ceilings, Columns, Light coves, Bas Relief, Domes, Capitals, Fireplace Surrounds, Medallions, Custom shapes etc. What is special about GFRG?  GFRG is a mineral and will not burn. In addition, the nature of gypsum acts like a thermal regulator when exposed to flame.  GFRG is not only incombustible, but it also protects the materials behind it from the heat of the flame for up to two hours.  GFRG is relatively light in weight compared to traditional stone or plaster ornaments.  Its installation is quick and relatively easy.  GFRG can be cast to virtually any shape. 10.2 % rise in Cost Inflation Index (CII) for 2013-14 June 8th, 2013 The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) has specified a rise of 10.2% in the value for the Cost Inflation Index (CII) for 2013-14. In 2012, the index was ‗852‘, and this year it is ‗939‘ which shows a 10.2% increase in the cost inflation index for 2013-14. What is Cost Inflation Index?
  24. 24. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ It is a measure of inflation that finds application in tax law, when computing long-term capital gains on sale of assets. Section 48 of the Income-Tax Act defines the index as what is notified by the Central Government every year, having regard to 75% of average rise in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for urban non-manual employees for the immediately preceding previous year. How does it help?  A cost inflation index helps reduce the inflationary gains, thereby reducing the long- term capital gains tax payout for a taxpayer. Currently, the income-tax law allows long-term capital gains to be computed after adjusting for inflation. At present,  The cost of acquisition as well as the cost of improvement is adjusted for inflation b/w the date of purchase and date of sale (through the CII) before the long-term capital gain is ascertained. Currently, the holding period is different for different assets for deciding the applicability of long-term capital gains.  Under the new Direct Taxes Code which will be effective from April 1, 2014, the test for non-business assets will be a uniform holding period of one year. Dhoni stands at 16th spot on Forbes list of highest-paid athletes June 8th, 2013 As per the Forbes latest rankings of the highest paid athletes in the world, India skipper M S Dhoni, with earnings of $31.5 million, has been ranked at 16th place as leaped 15 positions from his previous 31st rank in 2012. US golfer Tiger Woods is at the pinnacle of the list with total earnings of $78.1 million last year. The magazine said 31-year-old Dhoni moved up 15 positions this year. In 2012, he was placed at 31st position. Top 10 on the Rankings: Rank Name Country Pay (Salary + Endorsements) ($) Sport 1. Tiger Woods USA 78.1m Golf 2. Roger Federer Switzerland71.5m Tennis 3. Kobe Bryant USA 61.9m Basketball 4. LeBron James USA 59.8m Basketball 5. Drew Brees USA 51m Americanfootball 6. Aaron Rodgers USA 49m American football 7. Phil Mickelson USA 48.7m Golf 8. David Beckham UK 47.2m Soccer 9. Cristiano RonaldoPortugal 44m Soccer 10. Lionel Messi Argentina 41.3m Soccer DIPP clarifies: MBRT doesn‘t allow trading through franchise route June 8th, 2013 The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion has clarified the queries on FDI policy for Multi-Brand Retail Trading (MBRT) from global retailers. The clarification is as follows:  Foreign retailers entering India‘s multi-brand segment will not be allowed to franchise their stores. Front-end stores set up by MBRT entity will have to be company-owned and company operated only.
  25. 25. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  Mandatory 30% sourcing from small industries will be counted only for sales through the front-end stores.  Foreign retailers will have to put 50% of their investments in back- end infrastructure specifically for the chain they are setting up and any amount spent in acquiring front-end retail stores would not be counted towards back-end infrastructure  The front-end retail stores must also be set up as an additionality, and not through acquisition of existing stores.  Investment in the equity of the existing infrastructure company will not be treated towards the fulfillment of the conditionality of 50% investment in back-end infrastructure.  Investment towards back-end infrastructure can be made across all States irrespective of whether FDI in MBRT is allowed in that State or not.  The sourcing condition pertains only to manufactured and processed products. Procurement of fresh produce is not covered by this condition.  FDI in non-FDI approved States in back-end infrastructure will be counted for the compulsory 50% investment norm provided it is an additionality.  Entire investment in back-end infrastructure has to be an additionality, and the foreign retail chain can invest only in greenfield (new) assets and it will not be possible to acquire supply/chain/backend assets or stakes from an existing entity.  The MBRT entity is not envisaged to undertake wholesale activity, that is, B2B. The cash & carry trading cannot be considered to be providing back-end infrastructure to the multi-brand retail store. Government to start National Higher Education Campaign (Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan) June 10th, 2013 The Union Government has decided to launch National HigherEducation Campaign (Rashtriya Ucchatar Shiksha Abhiyan), to focus on equity based development, improvement in teaching-learning quality and research. Under this programme, funds will be granted to public Universities and Colleges so that higher educational institutes do not depend heavily on the affiliation fees. The programme will encourage the Universities to give more emphasis on life-skill development activities which would ultimately aid in employment generation. HC directs ESPN to provide add free live signal of ICC Champions Trophy to DD June 10th, 2013 A bench of justices which is hearing a petition filed by ESPN TV channel which sought a direction to Prasar Bharati not to insist on the live signal of the ICC Trophy without any commercial, has directed ESPN to provide live signals of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2013 without any commercials. This is an interim order and the pleadings in the matter are yet to be completed. The direction has been given so that Doordarshan would be able to telecast the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 as per commitment and object of the Prasar Bharati (Broadcasting Corporation of India) Act. RBI imposes restrictions on gold loans by Co-op banks June 10th, 2013 Intensifying the efforts to discourage the demand for gold, the Reserve Bank of India has extended the restriction on advance against gold on co-operative banks as
  26. 26. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ well. RBI has directed state/central co-operative banks to ensure that the weight of the specially minted gold coin(s) for which they are granting advance does not exceed 50 grams per customer. Also the amount of loan to any customer against gold ornaments, gold jewellery and gold coins (weighing up to 50 grams) should be within the Board approved limit. Similar limitations are already in force on commercial banks. Recently, the government raised import duty on gold to 8% from 6%. Banks have also been advised not to sell gold coins. RBI has also imposed restrictions on gold imports by banks. The increasing imports of the yellow metal has become a cause of concern for both the government as well as the RBI as it putting pressure on the CAD (Current Account Deficit), which is likely to be around 5% of the GDP in 2012-13. The monthly average of gold import in 2012-13 was 70 tonnes. The rise in gold import is also linked to the fall in its prices in the internationalmarket. Government sets up SCE to evaluate international competitiveness of Indian financial sector June 10th, 2013 The Union Government of India has set up a Standing Council of Experts (SCE) in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, which will assess global competitiveness of Indian Financial Sector. Objectives before the SCE:  Analyze the international global competitiveness of the Indian financial sector.  Examine comprehensively various pecuniary and non-pecuniary costs of doing business through Indian capital/financial markets, like transactions costs including applicable tax rates, documentation requirements, brokerage fee and others vis-a-vis other competing destinations, and make suggestions aimed at achieving competitiveness.  Examine related policy/operating frameworks and the performance of various segments of Indian capital/financial markets and make recommendations aimed at improving their competitiveness and efficiency, as also the completeness of these markets in terms of fully meeting client needs as per global standards through provision of requisite services and financial instruments  Examine the scope for reform measures aimed at increasing transparency, promoting development of and strengthening governance in the Indian capital markets/financial sector while ensuring that risks are contained and investor interests are protected. Who are on the Council? The SCE will have financial experts from Government as well as private sectors as its member. The composition is as follows:  Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs-Chairperson  Chief Economic Adviser (CEA)- Member and Alternate Chair  Joint Secretary (Capital Markets), DEA: Convener – Member Secretary to the Council. Bio-food gaining attraction at weddings, luncheons June 10th, 2013 Bio-food is gaining the interest of people desiring for food produced with least synthetic inputs and for experiencing something new. Many people with health and environments concerns are switching to organic foods and are buying into the principles of chemical- free cultivation. They are making their dietary vote known to friends and family by
  27. 27. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ throwing organic parties and ‗health‘ luncheons and even supplementing wedding and anniversary reception menus with organic dishes. What is Bio-food? Bio-foods or Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods of organic farming – that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers. Organic foods are also not processedusing irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives. The organic farming movement arose in the 1940s in response to the industrialization of agriculture known as the Green Revolution. Organic food production is a heavily regulated industry, distinct from private gardening. Currently, the European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan and many other countries require producers to obtain special certification in order to market food as organic within their borders. In the context of these regulations, organic food is food produced in a way that complies with organic standards set by national governments and international organizations. There is no sufficient scientific evidence to substantiate that organic food is safer or healthier than conventional food or it tastes better than conventional food. Rs 10 crore transferred through DBT of LPG June 11th, 2013 The Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) of LPG which was launched in 18 districts of the country has successfully disbursed a subsidy of Rs 435 to each of 250,000 households within the first week of its launch. Under the scheme launched on June 1, LPG consumers get Rs 435 in their bank accounts when they book an LPG cylinder. They are then expected to use this cash subsidy to buy a LPG refill at market price which is roughly the double of Rs 410 per 14.2-kg subsidized rate in Delhi. The government intends to expand the scheme to rest of the country before the end of the year but wants to see results in the 20 districts first. The districts selected have high Aadhaar unique identification number penetration. The scheme is expected to save government‘s Rs 8,000-10,000 crore in LPG subsidy annually after the scheme is extended throughout the country. BJP appoints Narendra Modi as Chairman of its Campaign Committee for 2014 polls June 11th, 2013 All the uncertainties about who will head the major opposition party- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were brought to an end as party President Rajnath Singh announced Narendra Modi as the Chairman of the party‘s Campaign Committee for 2014 general elections. Modi was recently appointed a member of the party‘s parliamentary board. Indian firm proposes to set up power plants to Pakistan June 11th, 2013 Delhi-based Desein Private Ltd, a power consultancy firm, has submitted proposals for offered its services to the Pakistan government for the production of cheap electricity. Pakistan is currently going through a massive energy crisis. The Indian company has proposed the setting up of power plants that will use local coal or lignite.
  28. 28. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ Desein, which provides services in India and the U.A.E., has proposed to conceptualize the power plant, including site selection, project development, engineering, construction and commissioning. What is Lignite?  Lignite is a low grade variety of coal which has low carbon content and thus it has low heating capacity. Coal is found mainly in four varieties: 1. Anthracite: Highest rank of coal, is a harder, glossy black coal used primarily for residential and commercial space heating. 2. Bituminous: It is also of good quality, used primarily as fuel in steam-electric power generation, with substantial quantities used for heat and power applications in manufacturing and to make coke. 3. Peat: It has industrial importance as a fuel in some regions, for example, Ireland and Finland. In its dehydrated form, peat is a highly effective absorbent for fuel and oil spills on land and water. It is also used as a conditioner for soil to make it more able to retain and slowly release water. 4. Lignite: Lowest grade of coal and used almost exclusively as fuel for electric power generation. RBI will intervene in forex market to prevent instability June 11th, 2013 RBI has said that it doesn‘t target any exchange rate but it will intervene in the Forex market to only to curb volatility and prevent disruption of macroeconomic stability. The statement has come amid weakening of Rupee as it declines to 57 mark against US dollar. Why does RBI intervene in the Forex market? With the decline of the Indian currency against dollars, the imports (mainly petroleum, raw materials) become costly as we have to buy dollars by shelling out more rupees. These dollars are then used to pay for our imports because it is acceptable everywhere. Thus, as we pay higher prices for our imports of petroleum, it affects the prices of other commodities linked with petrol/diesel through increased cost of production or transportation which adds to inflation. In order to prevent inflation due to Forex market volatility, it becomes imperative for the central bank to take mitigate measure to manage the disruption to the macro economic situation. What can RBI do?  RBI can opt for releasing dollars into the market which will help curb sentiment and panic purchase. Vesnina, Makarova clinch French Open women‘s doubles title 2013 June 11th, 2013 Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina of Russia won their first Grand Slam title together by defeating defending champions Sara Errani and Roberta Vinci of Italy in the women‘s doubles final of the French Open. Railways to introduce SMS-based OPCRS service for cleanliness related complaints June 11th, 2013 As envisaged in the Rail Budget 2013-14, Indian Railways will launch an SMS-based service named ―On-site Passenger Complaint Redressal System (OPCRS)‖ for
  29. 29. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ quick response to passenger complaints regarding housekeeping service in coaches. The service will be started on a pilot basis on a few select trains to facilitate passengers to contact on-board staff through SMS or phone call for complaints related to hygiene in coaches, toilets and other problems faced during journey. OPCRS is likely to be launched in either Mumbai Rajdhani or Bangalore Rajdhani as a pilot project soon. How will it work? The system will provide a common number like the one used for PNR enquiry which to which a passenger can send SMS for any issue related to coach housekeeping like dirty toilets, compartment or absence of liquid soap. Once the SMS is sent, the information will be registered on OPCRS connected with GSM network, and it will be immediately routed to a GSM hand held unit (mobile phone) available with housekeeping supervisor on train. Simultaneously, an acknowledgement would be sent on the mobile phone of the complainant with a complaint ID with instruction to disclose the ID to the housekeeping supervisor after he attends to the problem to his satisfaction. Housekeeping supervisor on receipt of passenger information would locate him, get briefing of his requirements and attend to the problem besides giving him feedback. More accurate test for early detection of Down‘s syndrome developed June 11th, 2013 Researchers at the King‘s College London have claimed to have developed a more accurate test for Down‘s syndrome which can also be given earlier in pregnancy than current tests. The newly developed testing method in non-invasive and involves the test of foetal DNA in maternal blood to find the possibility of Down‘s in the baby with high accuracy. Unlike existing tests, the latest technique has no chances of causing miscarriage. It could reduce the number of high risk women needing an invasive test by adding an extra level of screening. Current Tests: In UK, all the pregnant women are offered Down‘s testing. These tests initially use ultrasound, during which a pocket of fluid at the back of a baby‘s neck – the nuchal translucency – is measured. Babies with Down‘s syndrome tend to have more fluid than normal. If it shows positive, the women are advised to undergo further testing like Amniocentesis or Chorionic Villus Sampling which are invasive procedure and carry 1% chance of miscarriage. What is Down‘s syndrome? Down‘s syndrome, also known as trisomy 21, is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of a third copy of chromosome 21.Down‘s syndrome is the most common chromosome abnormality in humans.It is typically associated with a delay in cognitive ability (mental retardation, or MR) and physical growth, and a particular set of facial characteristics. Effects of Down‘s on IQ: The average IQ of young adults with Down syndrome is around 50, whereas young adults without the condition typically have an IQ of 100.A large proportion of individuals with Down syndrome have a severe degree of intellectual disability. Rs 7,600 cr FII outflows form Indian debt market in a week June 11th, 2013
  30. 30. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ Over the past week, Indian debt market has witnessed as sharp pull out of Foreign Institutional Investments (FIIs) of more than Rs 7,600 crore ($1.35 billion). What is the reason for this outflow? As per market experts, the continuous depreciation of Indian currency against US dollar is the reason behind the huge outflow from the debt market. The rupee plummeted to the key 57-mark against US dollar for the first time in a year. FII status in 2013:  So far in 2013, bond buyers have made an investment of Rs 16,372 crore ($3.2 billion), owing this to higher yields offered by the government and corporate debt and easing of FII investment rules by doing away with sub-limits and reducing the withholding tax on debt investments .  The total foreign investment in the country‘s equity market has reached Rs 83,322 crore ($15.4 billion) so far this year.  Currently, the number of registered FIIs in the country stood at 1,754 and the total number of sub-accounts at 6,411. Banks to audit documents of credits of Rs 5 Crore and above periodically: RBI June 11th, 2013 As per the directions made by RBI, Banks will have to do periodical audits and re- verification of the documents of all credits of and above Rs 5 crore, till the loan is completely repaid. The instructions have been made in order to check frauds. As notified by the RBI, the banks should provide quarterly review notes of such audits that include information like number of accounts where rectification is required, list of deficiencies observed by auditors and steps taken to rectify the deficiencies. The direction came up after RBI found a large volume of frauds at the time when the branches of banks were under concurrent audit. The bank found that frauds were perpetrated on account of the submission of forged documents of the borrower, which were certified by advocates/chartered accountants/valuers. 200 Indians victim of cheating stranded in Saudi Arabia June 11th, 2013 Around 200 skilled and unskilled laborers from different states of India are stranded in Saudi Arabia after their Bangladeshi employer cheated them. The worker were promised jobs in a plastic factory, but were made to clean toilets. They have appealed to the government of India for help to return home. Duped by Agents It has become a serious problem for India to deal with these sorts of situation when people take improper route to go abroad and the ramifications which follow. In the present case, the laborers were recruited for a plastic factory after they paid Rs 80, 000- Rs 1,50,000 to the agents who made arrangements for their travel and ended up in a manpower supplying company managed by two Bangladeshis. Rangachang gets Early Tsunami Warning System to alert in three minutes June 13th, 2013 In order to forecast Tsunami early, the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) has installed the Early Tsunami Warning System (ETWS) at Rangachang in Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The system can forecast a tsunami within 3 minutes after the initial tremors are felt and can send alerts.
  31. 31. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ Following the alerts sent from the Tsunami Warning System, the tsunami alerts can be issued to the risk zones via Centre in consultation with Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services, INCOIS at Hyderabad. SEBI talks tough on non-compliance of minimum public shareholding June 13th, 2013 Taking action against stock exchange listed companies who have not yet complied to the minimum shareholding rule of market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the regulator has directed freezing of voting rights and corporate benefits of promoter groups of these companies with respect to the excess of proportionate shareholding till such time they comply. Restrictions have been put on their dealing in the non-compliant shares and in becoming directors in other companies. In June 2010, the rules were amended to provide for minimum and continuous public shareholding of 25% in private listed companies. The deadline was June 3, 2013, on which date some 100-odd companies were found to be non-compliant. The regulator is now proceeding against them. SEBI had given ample time to the companies to comply. It even introduced two new methods — the Offer for Sale (OFS) and theInstitutional Placement Programme (IPP) — to expedite the share divestment. Haryana notifies new Communication Infra policy June 13th, 2013 The Haryana government has notified a new Communication Infra Policy which is aimed at encouraging use of latest technology advancements in the telecom and communication sector. New Communication Infra Policy  It will encourage the use of latest technology advancements in the telecom sector such as Fibre to The Home (FTTH) and innovative business models such as the Open Access Network (OAN) where physical access to the network is separated from the delivery of services.  It intends to bring uniformity in guidelines and parameters for laying telecom and communication infrastructure in the state.  To ensure communication infrastructure providers stick to various safety standards or norms like radiation norms as envisaged by the Centre.  To encourage setting up of telecom and communication infrastructure in non- congested areas.  The policy allows every telecom infrastructure provider registered with the Department of Telecommunications or an infrastructure provider duly authorized by a licensee to lay communication and connectivity infrastructure is eligible to seek permission under it. Rafael Nadal wins French Open 2013 June 12th, 2013 Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal defeated David Ferrer to win men‘s French Open 2013 title. With this victory, Nadal now owns eight French Open titles. With 12 majors overall, the Nadal moves into a tie for third place with Roy Emerson. He trails only Roger Federer (17) and Pete Sampras (14) and is the second youngest, after Federer, to reach a dozen Grand Slam titles. French Open 2013: Serena Williams won the women‘s title June 11th, 2013
  32. 32. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ World no.1 American tennis player Serena Williams defeated her Russian opponent Maria Sharapova to clinch the French Open 2013 women‘s title. This victory brought up her 16th grand slam title, taking her to within two of the great 1980s duo of Chris Evert and Martina Navatilova Number of Royal Bengal Tiger in Sudarbans exceeds 2011 census estimates June 13th, 2013 As per a new study conducted in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund For Nature (WWF) and Wildlife Institute of India, the number of Royal Bengal tigers in the four ranges of the Sundarban Tiger Reserve (STR) and the adjoining South 24 Parganas districts is 103 which is more than the estimates of the 2011 census. As per Study:  Of the 3,500 sq km of the Indian side of Sundarbans, about 40-45 per cent is water. This leaves about 2,000 sq km for the tigers. There was presence of a tiger in every 20 sq km of the delta.  The density of tiger population varied for a tiger from 14 sq km to 18 sq km in a mainland forest.  Sundarbans is still a healthy habitat despite shortage of the prey base for the animal. Factbox : Sunderbans  Largest single block of tidal halophytic mangrove forest in the world.  It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site spanning across parts ofBangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal.  Bangladesh controls 2/3rd of the Sundarbans  India manages 1/3rd which is in West Bengal  Sundarbans National Park is a National Park, Tiger Reserve, and a Biosphere Reserve located in the Sundarbans delta in the Indian state of West Bengal.  Sundarbans South, East and West are three protected forests in Bangladesh.  It is densely covered by mangrove forests, and is one of the largest reserves for the Bengal tiger. Fact Box: What is Citrus greening? June 13th, 2013 Citrus greening or Huanglongbing is a deadly disease of citrus which greatly affects the production of the fruits in several parts of India. Causing agents:  It is caused by motile bacteria, Candidatus Liberibacter Symptoms:  Yellowing of leaf veins and adjacent tissues  Premature defoliation  Dieback of twigs  Decay of feeder rootlets and lateral roots.  Infected fruits are small, lopsided with bitter taste, may fall prematurely How does it spread?  In India the bacteria are spread by a vector- the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri).  It is a sap-sucking, hemipteran bug in the family, Psyllidae. How can it be controlled?  It can be managed by focus Integrated Pest Management (IPM) efforts using disease- free nursery trees, reducing infection sources (inoculum) by frequent surveys and
  33. 33. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/ diseased tree removal, and suppressing Asian citrus psyllid through area-wide management. Fact Box: Who was William Lambton? June 13th, 2013 Lieutenant-Colonel William Lambton was a British soldier, surveyor, and geographer.  He made remarkable contribution as the Superintendent of the Trigonometrical Survey of India, which he began in 1802.  He launched his work from St Thomas Mount in Chennai and mapped the south India.  Trigonometrical Survey of India was launched by the British who had conquered vast territories in India but didn‘t have geographic knowledge of the areas they conquered. An extensive survey was essential for their administrative purposes, which eventually became the Great Trigonometrical Survey.  He took part in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War in 1799. After the capture of Mysore Lambton proposed that the territory be surveyed, using the new techniques of geodesy employed by William Roy in Great Britain, and this was approved.  It was Lord Wellesley who realized the necessity of a survey in the southern part of India after the fall of Srirangapatnam in 1799. Three surveys started simultaneously. While Francis Buchanan started the agricultural survey of Malabar and Mysore, Colin Mackenzie began a survey based on topography. William Lambton, who participated in the Mysore war in 1799, was made the superintendent of the Trigonometrical Survey. India-US collaborate on Space Solar Power Initiative June 13th, 2013 Working in the direction of realizing the idea of tapping solar energy from space and beaming it to earth to meet the energy needs of the future and mitigate climate change, India and a top US science body have forged an international organisation to develop space solar power. It was declared through a joint statement made by the two sides at the 2013 National Space Society‘s International Space Development Conference (ISDC 2013). The renowned scientist of India Abdul Kalam and Executive Committee Chairman of the National Space Society of US, Mark Hopkins announced to have a clear plan of action to market the idea of a livable planet Earth through space solar power to G8 or G20 nations within a year. The vision will include specific mechanisms such as the Global Space Knowledge Platform, the International Virtual Laboratory, and the International Advisory Committee that Abdul Kalam has elaborated through discussion papers. What is Space-based Solar Power?  Space-based solar power (SBSP) is an idea of collecting solar power in space (using an ―SPS‖, that is, a ―solar power satellite‖ or a ―satellite power system‖) for use on Earth.  Research in this directions has been going on since the early 1970s. How it differs from current solar power systems?  SBSP would differ from current solar collection methods in that the means used to collect energy would reside on an orbiting satellite instead of on Earth‘s surface. What are its benefits?  As the outer space lacks a diffusing atmosphere and nighttime such a system can have a higher collection rate and a longer collection period.  Part of the solar energy is lost on its way through the atmosphere by the effects of reflection and absorption.
  34. 34. https://www.facebook.com/groups/BANKPOANDCLERK/  Space-based solar power systems convert sunlight to microwaves outside the atmosphere, avoiding these losses, and the downtime (and cosine losses, for fixed flat-plate collectors) due to the Earth‘s rotation. What are the hurdles in its implementation? Besides the cost of implementing such a system, SBSP also introduces several new hurdles, primarily the problem of transmitting energy from orbit to Earth‘s surface for use. Since wires extending from Earth‘s surface to an orbiting satellite are neither practical nor feasible with current technology, SBSP designs generally include the use of some manner of wireless power transmission. The collecting satellite would convert solar energy into electrical energy on board, powering a microwave transmitter or laser emitter, and focus its beam toward a collector (rectenna) on the Earth‘s surface. Radiation and micrometeoroid damage could also become concerns for SBSP. Railways to launch Mobile Payment Ticketing Facility June 13th, 2013 Soon, passengers will be able to book their train tickets via mobile SMS as Indian Railways is to start Mobile Payment Ticketing Facility from July 1, 2013. The service will be available to all mobile subscribers. This facility offered by irctc, will have no role of travel agents and commercial organisations. Only individual users will be allowed to book on the portal. Travel agents in the IRCTC service have been accused of blocking tickets to sell them at a premium. How to book the ticket? A passenger has to type the train number, destination, journey date, class and passenger details like name, age and gender on the SMS box. For starting, one has to register their mobile number with IRCTC as well as their bank. The bank provides MMID (Mobile Money Identifier) andOTP (One Time Password) for payment authorization. The sender will receive transaction ID and then make payment through sending another SMS by typing PAY followed by the transaction ID, MMID as received from the bank and password, thus the booking is complete. Charges: The service will be available to all mobile subscribers and Rs 3/- will be charged per SMS and payment gateway charges will be Rs 5/- for ticket amount upto Rs 5,000 and Rs 10/- for more than Rs 5,000. Telegram service by BSNL to end from July 15, 2013 June 15th, 2013 The telegram service provided by the BSNL will be discontinued from July 15, 2013. The BSNL Board has already approved for the end of the service and it has sought final clearance from the Department of Telecommunications. Why this step? Today, when the mobile phones and Internet services have reached the depths of India‘s population, the telegraphic service is finding few customers to sustain itself. The BSNL who offers the service is now facing financial constraints as it faces an annual loss of Rs.300 – 400 crore from its telegraph service alone. In India, the first telegraph message was transmitted live through electrical signals between Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Diamond Harbour, a distance of about 50 km, on November 5, 1850; and the service was opened for the general public in February 1855. Boeing C-17 Globemaster III added into IAF June 15th, 2013

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