March 26, 2013

Current Affair: January 2013

03 Jan' 2013 | Legendary Violinist M S Gopalkrishnan passes away
Violin maestro Padmabhushan M.S. Gopalkrishnan passed away after a brief illness. He was 82. MSG, as he is fondly referred to in the business circles, started performing at the age of 8. He has since then went on to perform with stalwarts before becoming an expert himself on Hindustani and Carnatic systems of classical music. His amazing quality of interpreting an artist’s musical expressions and complementing it with his unique sensitivity earned him the Padma Bhushan, the Padma Shri and the ‘Sangita Kalanidhi’ title conferred by the Music Academy, Chennai. 

04 Jan' 2013 | 30th Birthday of the Internet
One of the greatest inventions of our times, the internet, turned 30 on the 4th of January. On the 1st of January, 1983, the US Department of Defence commissioned Arpanet Networks, replaced all previous networking systems and fully switched to the use of the Internet Protocol Suite (IPS) communications system.

04 Jan' 2013 | Kingfisher Airlines loses license to fly
The troubled Kingfisher Airlines has lost its permit to fly after a deadline to renew its suspended license expired. Directorate General of Civil Aviation Arun Mishra said Kingfisher Airlines has failed to provide additional details on the funding of operations in reference to Kingfisher’s reinstatement plans submitted to the DGCA last month. Recently, the troubled airline said it was in talks with Etihad Airways and other investors to take a stake in it. The Vijay Mallya owned Kingfisher airlines has made losses for 5 years in a row and it is $1.4bn in debt and has been unable to pay staff, airports, tax authorities and its lenders. Meanwhile, 17 member consortium met in Bangalore to discuss the company’s turnaround plans amid demands by the staff to sell assets and pay them their dues.

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

08 Jan' 2013 | Messi wins Player of the Year Award for the 4th consecutive time
Argentine football great Lionel Messi won the FIFA Balon d’or the FIFA Men Player of the year Award for the 4th consecutive time. This came as an expected achievement for the 25 year old, who had an astounding year with 91 goals for Argentina and Barcelona in 2012. Messi beat Christiano Ronaldo of Spanish champion Real Madrid and Barcelona teammate Andres Iniesta to win the trophy. Messi’s fourth award broke former records of soccer legends Brazil’s Ronaldo and France’s Zinedine Zidane who had each won the FIFA Player of the Year award thrice.

11 Jan' 2013 | Apple penetrates into Chinese markets
Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Tim Cook, has visited China twice in one year and has said that the Asian giant will soon be taking over the United States of America as the largest market for Apple products in the world. Currently China is the second-largest market for Apple products and the technology biggie sold more than two million iPhone 5 handsets in just three days of it being launched in China, on 14th December 2012. Cook has shown excitement in launching new products in China and has plans to launch a cheaper iPhone for emerging markets in Asia.

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

15 Jan' 2013 | Inflation slows to 3-year low
According to India’s Commerce and Industry Ministry, the country’s overall inflation has fallen to a three-year low, based on monthly wholesale price index. Currently, the country’s inflation stands at 7.18% as of December 2012.

15 Jan' 2013 | 2 year high for Sensex
The decision of the Finance Ministry to fasten the economic reforms process by modifying the General Anti-Avoidance Rules (GAAR) has had a positive effect on the Stock Market. The SENSEX and NIFTY, both rose to a 2 year high. Investors gained up to Rs 80,000 crore and were also pleased with relaxed inflation figures, which dropped to a three-year low, that in turn raised chances of a cut in rates by RBI later this month.

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

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

22 Jan' 2013 | Barack Obama begins 2nd term as US President, pledges to end war
Barack Obama began his 2nd term at the White House after his re-election and swearing in as US President for 4 more years. In his inaugural address, Obama pledged to focus more on internal social, political and economic dynamics and involve in less confrontation with the world. He was sworn in for a second term by Chief Justice John Roberts in a grand ceremony watched by more than 600,000 people.



22 Jan' 2013 | Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) clears IKEA’s investment proposal
The Foreign Investment Promotion Board has approved Swedish Home Furnishings Company IKEA’s Rs. 10,500 crore investment proposal which the Board had earlier rejected in November 2012. This approval allows the company to set up retail stores along with its popular cafes in stores and also increase its product categories in India from 15 to 18. The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs will take the final call on the endorsement as the FIPB can endorse investments upto Rs. 1,200 crore only.

22 Jan' 2013 | Former Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala and son sentenced to 10 years in Jail
Former five-time Haryana CM Om Prakash Chautala and his son Ajay Chautala were sentenced to 10 years of rigorous imprisonment by a special CBI Court for illegal recruitment of junior basic trained (JBT) teachers. On January 16, the court had held Chautala, his son and 53 others guilty of illegally recruiting 3,206 junior basic trained teachers in Haryana in 2000. In protest against the judgement, over 600 supporters of Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) chief Chautala clashed violently with the police outside the court.

22 Jan' 2013 | Rahul Gandhi appointed Congress Vice-President, Rajnath Singh to replace Gadkari as BJP chief
The Congress on 20 January appointed Rahul Gandhi as the vice-president of the Congress party, a position that elevated him to the number two position in the party after mother Sonia Gandhi. The decision was taken at the recently concluded two-day Chintan Shivir intended to create an agenda for 2014.
In another development, BJP party President Nitin Gadkari resigned after protests following Income Tax raids on businesses that had invested in Purti group founded by him. Former BJP chief and UP leader Rajnath Singh has been appointed as the new party president.

24 Jan' 2013 | Developing nations on top in 2012 FDI index

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

26 Jan' 2013 | India successfully test fires medium range underwater ballistic missile
India today successfully test fired a medium range nuclear capable K-5 ballistic missile from an underwater platform in Bay of Bengal. With this achievement, India has successfully completed the nuclear triad which will give it the capacity to successfully fire nuclear- tipped missiles from land, air and sea. The missile has been developed by the Hyderabad laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation and is part of the Indian Strategic Forces’ underwater platforms. U.S., China, Russia and France are the only other nations who have an underwater nuclear-capable ballistic missile.

26 Jan' 2013 | Padma Vibhushan and Padma Bhushan awards announced
The government came out with a list of 108 Padma awardees that included actors, sportspersons and other distinguished personalities from the field of art, science and literature. Noted physicist Yash Pal, space scientist Roddam Narasimha, renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra and painter S. Haider Raza were chosen for this year’s Padma Vibhushan, India’s second highest civilian award after the Bharat Ratna. 24 people were chosen for the Padma Bhushan which included names like Rahul Dravid, Rajesh Khanna and Sridevi. Among the 80 Padma Shri awardees are B. Jayashree (art) from Karnataka, film Director of Sholay fame Ramesh Sippy, noted Photo journalist Pablo Bartholomew, and fashion designer Ritu Kumar. Olympians Mary Kom, Yogeshwar Dutt and Vijay Kumar also featured among the Padma awardees.
Nobody was named for the Bharat Ratna for this year too. The last awardee was the late Pandit Bhimsen Joshi in 2008.

27 Jan' 2013 | Novak Djokovic wins Australian Open for record third consecutive time
World Tennis No. 1 Novak Djokovic became the first person to win the Australian Open for the third consecutive time in the 45-year professional era. Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in a final that lasted 3 hours 40 minutes. It is Djokovic’s 4th Australian Open title joining Roger Federer and Andre Agassi, who had each won the Australian Open title 4 times.



28 Jan' 2013 | Toyota regains position as world’s biggest car maker
Japanese carmaker Toyota has regained its position as the world’s biggest car maker after the company posted 22% increase in sales from 2011. Toyota sold 9.75 million vehicles in 2012, more than General Motor’s sales of 9.29 million vehicles. In 2011, General Motors held the top spot. Toyota’s sales in 2011 had been hit by natural disasters in Japan and Thailand which had slowed down production at its factories. Toyota’s rivals such as Nissan Motor and Honda Motor have also reported record number for vehicle sales in 2012. The decline in the Yen against the dollar since last November, might have aided Toyota which relies heavily on overseas sales.

29 Jan' 2013 | RBI cuts REPO rates by 25 basis points, reduces the Cash Reserve Ratio
The Reserve Bank of India cut the short-time lending rate, also called REPO by 0.25 percent to 7.75 percent for the first time in the past nine months to support the slow economic growth. In another unexpected move, the RBI has reduced the CRR, the share of deposit banks must keep with the RBI, by 25 bps to 4 percent which will release 18,000 crore additional liquidity into the system. The cut in REPO rates is expected to reduce the cost of borrowing for individuals and the CRR reduction would improve the availability of funds.

29 Jan' 2013 | Manchester United becomes first football team to be valued at over $ 3 billion
English Premier League soccer club Manchester United became the world’s first professional sports team to be valued at over $3 billion, according to a Forbes magazine report. Manchester United is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. New sponsorship deals and lucrative payouts in the Champions League and the English Premier League seem to have contributed to the surge in United’s shares. 19 times EPL champion Manchester is ahead of the world's second-most valuable sports team, the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys which is valued at $2.1 billion. United, who claim to have 659 million followers worldwide, are owned by the American Glazer family who retained a tight grip on the club after the shares of the club were floated on the NYSE last year.

29 Jan' 2013 | Mumbai win Ranji Trophy title for 40th time
Mumbai defeated Saurashtra by an innings and 125 runs, in less than 3 days to win the Ranji Trophy title at the Wankhede stadium. Mumbai’s pace attack headed by Ajit Agarkar and Dhawal Kulkarni helped the hosts defeat Saurashtra who were playing their first Ranji Trophy final. Though Mumbai were restricted to 355, Saurashtra could only manage 82 in 36.3 overs. Mumbai have reached the Ranji Trophy final 44 times. They have won the trophy a record 40 times and finished runners-up on 4 occasions.



Current Affair -1st January-2018

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