Current Affairs : India
 

  • Mir Ranjan Negi, assistant commissioner of customs and former India hockey goalkeeper, the inspiration behind the Bollywood hit movie Chak De India, and his colleague may be suspended in the ongoing crackdown against corruption in the air cargo complex, Sahar.
  • Chief commissioner of customs Devendra Singh has written to the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) to suspend M R Negi and assistant commissioner V M Ganoo. Both officials, attached to the air cargo complex, were recently transferred out of the complex on the instructions of the directorate of vigilance for supervisory failure, sources said.
  • Last week, Singh had suspended 17 officials comprising appraisers and examiners as part of a crackdown on corruption.
  • TOI has been running a series of reports on smuggling operations at the air cargo complex.

  • Taher Merchant and Feroze Khan, two of the five convicts in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts+ case, were on 7 sepsentenced to death by a special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court.
  • Two others, Abu Salem and Karimullah Khan were sentenced to life+ in jail. Another convict, Riyaz Siddiqui, was sentenced to 10 years in jail.
  • On March 12, 1993, serial blasts in the city killed 257 and left over 713 injured.
  • The sentencing comes after extensive arguments were made by the prosecution and defence since June 16 when the court had convicted Salem, Merchant, Feroze and Karimullah on charges of criminal conspiracy , murder and indulging in acts of terrorism that cause death.
  • Siddiqui was found guilty on the lesser charge for abetting and aiding terrorism.
  • While CBI special public prosecutor Deepak Salvi sought the death sentence for Merchant, Feroze and Karimullah, he pressed for life sentences against Salem and Merchant.
  • The charge against Salem could have attracted the maximum punishment. But since he was extradited from Portugal in 2005, a Lisbon court has held that he cannot be awarded death here. Salem, though his lawyer, has also argued that he cannot be jailed for more than 25 years as assured by the Indian government.
  • Key conspirator Mustafa Dossa, 60, against whom Salvi had also sought the death penalty, died pending sentencing. The case against him has since abated and there will be no sentence pronounced against him.
  • Qayyum Shaikh, 64, behind bars for almost 11 years, was acquitted for lack of evidence. This trial of seven was the second in the 1993 case.

  • Seven Indian companies figure in the latest Fortune 500 list, released on Thursday 21 July 2016
  • State-run Indian Oil Corp (IOC) is ranked highest at 161st with revenues of $54.7 billion
  • Public sector firm Oil and Natural Gas Corp has moved out of the rankings for 2016
  • Gems and jewellery firm Rajesh Exports ranked 423rd position
  • IOC is followed by State Bank of India (SBI), Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum
  • Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) is the highest ranked, though it has slipped down to 215th position, from 158 last year.
  • Tata Motors follows at number 226, up from 254th last year
  • Bharat Petroleum fell from 280th to 358th this year, while Hindustan Petroleum is at 367th, compared to its 327th place last year.
  • SBI has improved its position to 232, from being at 260 last year.
  • List was topped by retail giant Walmart with revenue of $482,130 million
  • The world's 500 largest companies generated $27.6 trillion in revenues and $1.5 trillion in profits in 2015
  • Global top 10 companies are State Grid (second, $329,601 million), China National Petroleum (third, $299,271 million), Sinopec Group (4th, $294,344 million), Royal Dutch Shell (5th, $272,156 million), Exxon Mobil (6th, $246,204 million), Volkswagen (7th, $236,600 million), Toyota Motor (8th, $236,592 million), Apple (9th, $233,715 million) and BP (10th, $225,982 million).

  • You need the right mentor to become successful in any field. And this 28-year-old young turk found his early in life.
  • Delhi-based JatinKhemani developed a penchant for the stock market by reading some of the illustrious books such as Peter Lynch’s One up on Wall Street , William Thorndike’s The Outsiders, Philip Fisher’s Common Stocks and Uncommon Profits and Saurabh Mukherjea’s The Unusual Billionaires.
  • Jatin claims to have bought his first stocks at the age of 21 in 2010. Some of these eventually proved multibaggers; some generated up to 900 per cent returns in last four years.
  • A commerce graduate from Delhi University with an MBA in finance from Christ University, Bangalore, Jatin says good guidance and the right mindset are what can take you places in a challenging profession like investing.
  • Jatin introduces himself as a value investor and is very bullish on India’s growth outlook. He projects the Sensex to touch the 1,00,000 mark by 2027.
  • All you need to do is make a few right decisions in your lifetime to be a successful investor, says he.
  • Jatin doesn’t believe in sectoral or market-cap biases. Instead, he looks for options in smaller businesses that are easy to understand and mostly operated by owners.
  • “I prefer companies that have a favourable base, are lesser known and have minimum institutional holdings,” he says.

  • Two days after State Bank of India chairman Arundhati Bhattacharya slashed savings bank deposit rates in an unprecedented fashion, Kotak Mahindra Bank executive vice chairman Uday Kotak tweeted, 'borrowers matter, so do savers,' and declared that his bank was in no hurry to lower rates.
  • The action and reaction of the two top bankers reflect the paradox of the Indian banking industry.
  • Between the two events, the Reserve Bank of India said banks' conduct in passing on the benefits of lower interest rate through the so-called Marginal Cost of Funds based Lending Rate, or MCLR, has not been 'entirely satisfactory' and announced the constitution of a study group to ensure the concept works.
  • Indian banking is vertically divided into the loss-making state-owned banks and a bunch of highly profitable private sector ones looking to gain market share at the cost of the leaders who have benefited from state support.

  • Aadhaar may soon become mandatory for buying shares and mutual funds.
  • The government and the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) are planning to link Aadhaar to financial market transactions to try and curb sharp practices such as conversion of black money into white through the stock market.
  • Two people familiar with the development said the government has realised that the permanent account number (PAN) may not be enough to plug tax leaks.
  • Top Sebi officials have informally sounded out select market intermediaries about the possibility of linking Aadhaar to financial market transactions, a top official with a financial services firm familiar with the development said.
  • "We have been told that making Aadhaar compulsory is in the offing," the official said. The timing of the move is still unclear.
  • It is also not clear whether Aadhaar will replace PAN as the sole identification number for financial market transactions.
  • The government recently mandated that Aadhaar, launched in 2009 by the UPA government, be linked to PAN, bank accounts and mobile phone numbers. The deadline for existing bank account holders to provide their Aadhaar details is December 31.

  • In a quiet display of dissent, numerous taxpayers across the country have opted to file their tax returns manually, via snail-mail, rather than get an Aadhaar card.
  • Many others filed their returns online early, prior to June 30, when the Aadhaar linkage was not mandatory.
  • "Technically you should be able to file online even if you don't have an Aadhaar card, but the e-filing system does not allow it," said docu filmmaker Rakesh Sharma, who considers the Aadhaar requirement a potential violation of privacy and a possible tool for state surveillance and data mining.
  • The I-T department's e-filing portal does not accept returns without an Aadhaar or an Aadhaar application number.
  • In some instances, even an application number is being rejected - which according to I-T officials could be owing to an error by the tax filer or a temporary technical glitch.

  • Travelling by train in AC coaches is going to cost more from July even as the railways has sought exemption for several services from GST.
  • In addition, it is seeking to ensure that its system is geared to claim input tax credit for many taxes that it pays across the country - excise, service tax and VAT on various goods and services.
  • Officials said if railways manages to get input tax credit for taxes it has already paid then the burden may be kept under check.
  • Under the proposed GST regime, AC class train travel will attract 5% tax, same as freight levy, compared to 4.5% service tax that is paid currently.
  • An official said those who have booked tickets for AC class in advance but will travel after or on July 1 will have to pay the balance amount calculated on new rate of taxation.
  • However, ticket prices for sleeper class and general class will remain the same.

  • Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail (ABFRL) will acquire global clothing brand 'Forever 21' in the Indian market.
  • The deal is worth 26 million USD (around Rs 175.52 crore)
  • Business transfer agreement with Diana Retail and DLF Brands for acquisition of the Business
  • It is Business transfer agreement not share transfer
  • Forever 21 has network of more than 700 stores worldwide and Its India operations reported a turnover of Rs 262 crore in 2015-16.

  • The government plans to wrap up the disinvestment in state-run carrier Air India before end of the year and the preference is veering towards a "domestic buyer" for the debt-laden airline.
  • The Union Cabinet gave an in-principle approval for strategic disinvestment in Air India in June and a panel of ministers headed by finance minister ArunJaitley is now devising the strategy for executing the sale.
  • "We will complete the process before the year-end. There is no choice but to privatise it," a government source told .While no final decision has been taken, the source said the preference so far is for a "domestic buyer." Some foreign companies including airlines have informally expressed interest in buying Air India.
  • Disinvestment of Air India gathered pace after the government's think tank NITI Aayog recommended up to 100% stake sale, along with writing off its debt. Experts say it would be a difficult task to undertake a stake sale in the airline in the run up to 2019 general elections.
  • The source said the panel is discussing several options to deal with the large debt of the airline as no buyer is expected to come forward to take over such a liability. He said options being discussed include a partial write-off of the debt.

  • A Parliamentary panel will hear on August 8 the views of various stakeholders on the disinvestment of national carrier Air India and Pawan Hans Limited.
  • While a group of ministers, headed by Finance Minister ArunJaitley, is looking into various aspects of the proposed disinvestment of Air India, the government has already decided to sell its entire 51 per cent stake in Pawan Hans Ltd (PHL), in which the rest 49 per cent holding is with ONGC.
  • The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture will hear the views of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM), Air India and Pawan Hans on the disinvestment of Air India and Pawan Hans on Aug 8, as per the panel's schedule.
  • DIPAM comes under the Finance Ministry,The 31-member panel is headed by Trinamool Congress member Mukul Roy and has 21 MPs from the Lok Sabha. The members include those from the Congress, BJP, BJD, SP, CPI(M) and TDP.

  • With effect from July 12, 2016
  • Dr A B Pandey, IAS, Director General and Mission Director
  • As Chief Executive Officer, UIDAI (Unique Identification Authority of India)
  • A doctorate in computer science from University of Minnesota Minneapolis of US
  • Maharashtra cadre IAS officer of 1984 batch
  • Involved with UIDAI established under the Aadhaar Act and implementation of Aadhaar since September 2010
  • UID Authority shall consist of a chairperson, appointed part-time or full-time, two part-time members, and the chief executive officer who shall be member-secretary of the Authority, to be appointed by the central government.

  • Amazon India has said it signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Telangana Department of Handloom and Textiles, to educate, train and enable weavers and artisans to directly sell their products to Amazon customers across the country.
  • According to a statement issued by the e-commerce giant last night, with over 17,000 handlooms in the state, this association will further help elevate popular handloom products from clusters such as are Pochampally, Warangal, Gadwal, Narayanpet and Siddipet which have a tremendous potential and demand in urban areas.
  • "Amazon India through this association with the weavers and artisans in Telangana will help them boost their business by training them to list and sell their products online on the marketplace.
  • Additionally, Amazon India and the department will collaborate to conduct various training programs including computer and internet training sessions and registration assistance programs," it said.

  • Appointment Date: 23 Jun 2016
  • Coach for 12 Month Period
  • Announced at: BCCI's inaugural cricket conclave in Dharamsala
  • Total applications were 57, including Ravi Shastri
  • Advisory committee was formed headed by Sanjay Jagdale, the former BCCI secretary, Comprising of Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman
  • Kumble has 18 years of career with 132 tests and 271 ODI
  • Was president of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) and the chairman of the National Cricket Academy (NCA) Has served as a mentor for IPL franchises Royal Challengers Bangalore and Mumbai Indians

  • Arjan Singh, Marshal of the Indian Air Force (IAF) and India's oldest, five-star ranked air force officer, died at 7.47pm on Saturday after suffering a heart attack. He was 98.
  • Singh was admitted to the Army's Research and Referral hospital this morning, the defence ministry said.
  • Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and the three Service chiefs - General BipinRawat, Admiral Sunil Lanba and Air Chief Marshal Birender Singh Dhanoa - visited Singh at the hospital.
  • Arjan Singh was the only officer of the IAF to be given a distinction equal to that of a Field Marshal.
  • In 2016, the IAF named its Panagarh (West Bengal) air base after Arjan Singh on the occasion of his 97th birth anniversary. The Panagarh base would be called Air Force Station Arjan Singh. He was the only living officer to have a base named after him.
  • In his glorious career ,Arjan Singh flew over 60 different kinds of aircraft and his zest for flying didn't end until the day he retired in 1969.
  • When he was Chief of Air Staff, the IAF acquired supersonic fighters, strategic reconnaissance aircraft, tactical transport aircraft and assault helicopters, many of which are still in service 16 sep.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi mourned the death of Marshal Arjan Singh+ and said India will never forget his excellent leadership in the 1965 India-Pakistan war when the Indian Air Force saw substantial action.

  • Were Dera Sacha Sauda followers given arms training inside its Sirsa headquarters? The question has lingered in the minds of many ever since Army intelligence red-flagged the issue in December 2010.
  • They said ex-servicemen might have been used for the training and an advisory had been issued to troops to stay away from the Dera.
  • The police, however, did not find any evidence of weapons being stored or followers being trained when it searched the Dera. It is only since the Panchkula violence that Dera followers have been held with weapons, including rifles and pistols.
  • The arms training issue came up again in late 2014 when followers of another controversial godman, Rampal, tried to stop the police from arresting him from Satlok Ashram in Hisar in a contempt of court case. Six people were killed in the clash.
  • The Punjab and Haryana HC had taken suomotucognisance of reports of arms training inside Satlok Ashram and on December 4, 2014 issued a notice to the Haryana government. Advocate Anupam Gupta, who was amicus curiae in the Rampal case, had produced the army advisory.
  • Justice M Jeyapaul had observed monitoring Dera activities were much needed to avoid any flare-up. "Casualty will be more in dimension compared to the one we had faced while executing warrant of arrest as against contemnor Rampal," the HC had observed. But giving clean chit to the Dera, the Haryana government had in 2015 told the court that an inquiry did not find any arms training or weapons.
  • Haryana advocate general Baldev Raj Mahajan told TOI the Army advisory was an old one. "The previous government had found nothing in the Dera."

  • India ratified on Tuesday two fundamental conventions against child labour — the Minimum Age Convention, 1973 (Number 138), and the Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention, 1999 (Number 182) — at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) conference currentlyunder way in Geneva.
  • With this, India has become the 170th member of the ILO to ratify Convention Number 138, and the 181st to ratify Convention Number 182. ILO has 187 member states.
  • Labour minister BandaruDattatreya, who is representing India at the conference, said the amended Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Central Rules completely prohibited employment of children aged below 14 years in any occupation or process, and of adolescents (aged 14 to 18 years) in hazardous occupations and processes.
  • He added that the amended ruled provided a broad and specific framework for the prevention, prohibition, rescue and rehabilitation of child and adolescent workers.

  • Indian banks may have to write off 60 per cent of the value of bad loans from their 50 large stressed asset accounts, or a hit of Rs 2.38 lakh crore trillion, ratings agency CRISIL said on 19july.
  • The 50 stressed companies, which account for Rs 4 lakh crore in soured loans, are largely from the metals, construction and power industries and account for nearly half of the total non-performing assets in the banking sector as of the end of March, CRISIL said.
  • The credit agency, part of S&P Global, estimated that banks have provisioned for only around 40 per cent of their exposure to these assets.
  • Banks had total non-performing loans of about Rs 7.29 lakh crore, or 5 per cent of India's gross domestic product, as of end-March.
  • The report comes after rival India Ratings and Research had estimated banks taking 12 of the country's largest defaulters to bankruptcy court would need to make additional provisioning of at least Rs 18,000 crore.

  • The Government of Bhutan on Thursday refuted Chinese foreign ministry claims about Thimpu telling Beijing that the trilateral border stand-off area in Doklam in the Sikkim sector is not Bhutan's territory.
  • A top Chinese diplomat Wang Wenli had claimed that Bhutan had conveyed to Beijing through diplomatic channels that the area of the standoff is not its territory.
  • Wang, who is the deputy director general of the Department of Boundary and Ocean Affairs in China's foreign ministry, reportedly conveyed this information to a visiting Indian media delegation on09 aug.
  • She, however, did not provide any evidence to back her claim, which has been strongly denied by Bhutan.
  • Official sources in the Bhutanese Government told ANI over phone, "Our position on the border issue of Doklam is very clear. Please refer to our statement which has been published on the web site of Bhutan's foreign ministry on June 29, 2017."
  • Reacting to the developments in Doklam, Bhutan had on June 29 issued a press release in which it clearly stated that the construction of the road inside Bhutanese territory is a direct violation of the agreements and affects the process of demarcating the boundary between the two countries.
  • In the press release, Bhutan said that the Chinese Army started constructing a motorable road from Dokola in the Doklam area towards the Bhutan Army camp at Zompelri on June 16, 2017.

  • The Cabinet has given an in-principle approval to sell the government’s entire 51.11 per cent stake in Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd to Oil and Natural Gas Corp in a bid to create a state-run integrated oil major that can compete with private and foreign players, sources familiar with the matter said.
  • ONGCBSE -0.67 % will be exempted from making an open offer to other shareholders of HPCLBSE -0.74 % in the transaction, which is expected to be completed in a year More such integration of oil companies is in the offing, sources said.
  • ONGC chairman Dinesh Sarraf said the shareholders of both companies would gain from the deal.
  • "It is good for all the shareholders of both companies since integrated companies are much stronger and therefore valued by the market at higher multiple than standalone companies," Sarraf told ET.

  • The cabinet on Wednesday 29 Jun 2016 cleared a new mineral exploration policy
  • Allow private companies to carry out stand-alone exploration for the first time
  • India is keen to get private firms to start exploring for more minerals like diamonds and gold
  • PM's ambition is to make the country a major mineral producer
  • Current mining is negligible

  • After 18 months of sudden rule changes that left many carmakers scrambling, some of the industry's largest players are calling on the Indian government to set clear, stable policies - or face the risk of delays to major investment.
  • India is one of the world's fastest-growing car markets, and getting more companies to manufacture in India both for its own market and for export is critical for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government, which needs to create millions of new jobs each year as the workforce expands.
  • Executives at automakers like Volkswagen, Hyundai Motor Co and Tata Motors say that to invest more and better, they need more stable regulation on tax, emissions allowances and electric vehicles.
  • The latest setback came last week, when India's cabinet approved a move to increase the maximum levy on luxury cars and sport utility vehicles (SUVs) to as much as 25 percent less than two months after deciding on a lower rate of 15 percent as part of the new nationwide goods and services tax
  • The entire auto industry got hit by this surprise," said GuenterButschek, managing director at Tata Motors, which owns the British luxury car brand Jaguar Land Rover.
  • "I don't play with unlimited resources. We need a roadmap at a much earlier stage to make sure we allocate our resources in a proper way," said Butschek.
  • He said the company is waiting for clarity on the electric vehicles policy before it decides on any products and strategy.

  • If you thought cash deposits made prior to November 8 last year when the government announced its demonetisation exercise will escape the eagle eye of the tax department, you would be mistaken.
  • Tax authorities have sought explanations related to deposits of cash made in FY11. Not only that, notices have also been sent to homebuyers where the declared value of a purchase has been found much lower than the guidance, or indicative prices based on past transactions in the area.
  • A reassessment can be ordered if the tax authorities don't receive a response or they don't find the reply satisfactory.
  • "Cases on the basis of information available have been classified into two categories high risk and low risk," said a senior income tax official. "High-risk category cases have to be immediately attended to."
  • Cases from FY11 will soon become time-barred owing to the statute of limitations, hence the rush, the official added. These have been classified as high priority and general queries have been issued.
  • The department has asked these individuals and entities to furnish permanent account numbers as well as returns filed for the financial year in question. Tax authorities have the power of assessment or reassessment of any income chargeable to tax under Sections 147 and 148 of the Income Tax Act.
  • Formal notices will be issued if the explanation is found to be unsatisfactory. In the case of property transactions, the authorities have sought to add the difference between guidance value and the declared value to the assessed income. Their argument is that the difference would have been paid but hadn't been declared, putting both seller and buyer under the scanner.
  • The income tax department is getting information from multiple sources including banks and financial institutions as part of its anti-black money drive aimed at nabbing tax evaders.
  • "This is a clear evidence of enhanced data mining capabilities of the tax department," said Amit Maheshwari, partner, Ashok Maheshwary& Associates LLP. "This kind of targeted approach would lead to widening of tax base and increase the tax collections."

  • The Uttar Pradesh Police on Tuesday issued a terse warning that those involved in cow slaughter and illegal transport of milch animals will be booked under the stringent National Security Act and Gangsters Act.
  • The directive has been conveyed to all district police chiefs by the state Director General of Police Sulkhan Singh.
  • A Government Order to ban cow slaughter and illegal transport of milch animals was passed during the previous Akhilesh Yadav government in the state but was never strictly implemented.

  • The government is working on opening 'Jan Aushadhi' (generic medicines) stores at petrol pumps belonging to state-run fuel retailers across the country with a view to make cheap drugs accessible to masses, Union oil minister Dharmendra Pradhan said on16Aug.
  • "Oil marketing companies are bringing an ecosystem of non-fuel retail business at petrol pumps through tieups.
  • The Jan Aushadhi stores under the department of pharmaceuticals in the chemicals & fertilizers ministry will also be opened at the outlets in the future," Pradhan said after the fuel retailers inked MoU with Energy Efficiency Services Ltd for selling energy-efficient appliances and LED bulbs from petrol pumps.
  • But shortage of qualified pharmacists have emerged as a problem. Under law, drug stores need to have qualified pharmacists.
  • While most of the private drug stores list such pharmacists, they are seldom present. "As government entity, we can't do that," a person familiar with inter-government discussions , But the officials were hopeful of finding a way and said it will also open job opportunities.
  • EESL is a company promoted by state-run power utilities. It is spearheading the government's flagship 'Ujala' scheme to replace all incandescent and CFL bulbs in the country with LED lamps by 2019.
  • Pradhan said the IT ministry's 'Common Service Centre' concept is also being explored to offer government services such as issuing PAN and E-Aadhaar cards, utility bill payments, banking solutions and agriservices at the pumps.