25 November 2014
Bilal Tanweer wins Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize
Lahore-based author Bilal Tanweer’s maiden novel The Scatter Here is Too Great has bagged the 2014 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize. The award carries a cash component of Rs. 2 lakh. His novel was picked from a shortlist of six books by a jury of authors Amit Chaudhuri, Aatish Taseer and Mridula Koshy. All the six books including Tanweer’s have been published by Indian publishers. He was selected as a ‘Granta New Voice’ in 2011. The award will be presented on December 2, 2014.
Legendary Kathak danseuse Sitara Devi passes away
Legendary Kathak danseuse Sitara Devi passed away in Mumbai. She was 94 years old. She was honored with prestigious awards like Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, Padma Shri and Kalidas Samman.
C.K. Prasad next PCI chief
The former Supreme Court judge Chandramauli Kumar Prasad has been selected to be the next Chairman of the Press Council of India. Justice Prasad retired in mid-July. The 65-year-old judge will succeed Markanday Katju, whose three-year term ended on October 11.
Rajasthan to adopt self-attestation system
Rajasthan government will introduce a system of self-attestation of documents from January 1, 2015. Rajasthan would be the sixth State after Gujarat, Goa, Kerala, Punjab and Madhya Pradesh to adopt self-attestation system which was mooted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in August 2014. The circular further says action against people wilfully filing wrong declaration has been ensured under section 177, 193, 197, 198, 199 and 200 of the Indian Penal Code. These sections include imprisonment from six months to seven years and a fine, or both.
Maharashtra textbook has lesson on Rajkumar
For many in Karnataka, thespian late Rajkumar is not merely a household name but also lives in their memories. And, it may come as a surprise to many that neighbouring Maharashtra has introduced a Kannada lesson in the memory of Rajkumar under the title “Natasarvabhouma” in a textbook prescribed for Kannada-medium high school students. Lesson No. 6 in the Kannada textbook for VIII standard students has five dedicated pages in the name of the matinee idol — including his life, his struggle, his contribution to the language and the Kannada film industry, and his achievements.
Murli Deora, Congress veteran, passes away
Murli Deora, Congress veteran from Maharashtra, who held important posts in the party and government during his over four decades-long political career, passed away. He was 77. He joined the Union Cabinet in 2006, shortly before he turned 70. He led India’s oil diplomacy in Myanmar, Algeria and Egypt, and held talks with Ministers from Sudan, Chad, Ethiopia and Comoros. He was India’s longest serving Petroleum Minister.
Three new secretaries appointed
The government has appointed three new secretaries in the Shipping, Overseas Indian Affairs and Corporate Affairs Ministry. Senior IAS officers Rajive Kumar and Sunil Soni have been appointed as Secretary in Shipping and Overseas Indian Affairs Ministry respectively. Anjuly Chib Duggal, a 1981 batch IAS officer of Punjab cadre, has also been appointed as Secretary in Corporate Affairs Ministry.
NSA Doval appointed Special Representative for China talks
National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval has been appointed Special Representative for talks with China on the boundary issue. The post of Special Representative has been vacant since the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government demitted office. The last Special Representative was former NSA Shivshankar Menon. India and China created the role of Special Representatives during Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to Beijing in 2003 to explore a solution to the boundary issue from a political perspective.
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel resigns
US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has resigned under pressure after less than two years in the top military post. His resignation is the first Cabinet-level casualty which has come close on the heels of Democratic Party loosing majority in the Senate and the Obama administration's struggle in dealing with the militant group Islamic State.
Mexico, Uruguay end diplomatic spat over 'failed state' dig
Mexico and Uruguay declared an end to a brief diplomatic spat over the Uruguayan President's description of Mexico as a "kind of failed state." Mexico's government protested the remarks by Uruguayan President Jose Mujica over the weekend and said it would summon the South American country's ambassador for an explanation. But Mujica himself issued a statement to take back his words, which he had made to a magazine in reference to the disappearance, and presumed massacre, of 43 college students by a police-backed drug gang in southern Mexico.
World powers miss Iran nuclear deal deadline, extends it to July 1
Iran and world powers missed a deadline to clinch a landmark nuclear deal and defuse a 12-year standoff but gave themselves seven more months to reach agreement. The failure followed an intensive five-day diplomatic push in the Austrian capital Vienna involving the foreign ministers of Iran, the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany. In their second extension in 2014, Iran and the five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5+1, will seek to strike an outline deal by March and to nail down a full technical accord by July 1.
Business & Economy:
IRDA chief moots Jan Bima Yojana
Jan Bima Yojana on the lines of Jan Dhan Yojana, which has given a boost to the banking system, can be introduced to increase awareness of insurance, Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) Chairman T. S. Vijayan said. There had to be a concerted effort between industry, regulator and the government to spread awareness of insurance.
SEBI directs foreign investors to comply with P-Note norms
Amid concerns about possible misuse of Offshore Derivative Instruments-ODI, or P-Notes, for money laundering and other such purposes, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has directed foreign investors to ensure compliance with all necessary norms before issuing such notes with immediate effect. The existing ODI positions will be allowed to continue till expiry if they are not in compliance with the relevant provisions of Foreign Portfolio Investment (FPI) Regulations. However, there are no changes in the existing regulations that FPIs need to comply with while issuing ODIs. P-Notes are mostly used by overseas High Networth Individuals- HNIs, hedge funds and other foreign institutions to invest in Indian markets through registered foreign institutional investors, while saving on time and costs associated with direct registrations. However, there have been often concerns about misuse of this route. The investments through P-Notes rose to nearly seven-year high of over Rs 2.65 lakh crore at the end of October 2014.
Adani Power buys Avantha’s 600 MW plant for Rs.4,200 cr
Adani Power has entered into a binding agreement with Gautam Thapar-led Avantha group to buy out its 600-MW Korba West unit for more than Rs.4,200 crore. This is the second acquisition by the Adani group since it bought the 1,200-MW coal-fired Udupi plant from the debt-laden Lanco Infra for Rs.6,000 crore in August. Korba West Power owns a completed 600-MW coal-based power plant at Korba, and an expansion phase is in progress. The deal makes Adani Power the largest private sector power utility in the country with an installed capacity of 11,040 MW. With the Korba buy, the installed base of Adani Power will increase to 11,040 MW. The company has set a target of 20,000 MW capacity by 2020.
Indian cyclist Deborah creates history; Wins 4 golds in Track Asia Cup
Ms Deborah, a tribal girl from Andaman and Nicobar Islands has created history in National Level by winning four Gold Medals in the Track Asia Cup Cycling Championship 2014 which concluded in New Delhi. Deborah won both the two gold medals in the championship for an overall individual tally of four gold medals. India also grabbed four silver medals including the two they won and added three more bronze medals to their tally to finish with a total of 18 medals, 5 gold medals, 4 silver and 9 bronze.