General Studies & Current Affairs for Bank, SSC, CLAT, Civil Services and other Competitive Exams

   3  December 2014 National: Perception of corruption in India improves marginally India has marginally improved its rank...

GK & Current Affair Updates: December 3- 2014

   3  December 2014


Perception of corruption in India improves marginally
India has marginally improved its ranking on the global Corruption Perception Index this year, on the back of prosecutions of high-level officials and hope that the new leadership will reduce corruption, according to Transparency International. India’s two-point improvement (on a total possible score of 100) did not count as a “significant change” unlike that in countries like Egypt, Jordan and Afghanistan. With a score of 36, India now ranks 85 among 178 countries, with countries like Sri Lanka, Thailand and Burkina Faso for company. Denmark ranks first, as it did in 2013, while Somalia and North Korea share the bottom spot. India is ranked better than all its South Asian neighbours except Bhutan. The composite index is made up of a combination of surveys and assessments of public sector corruption by international agencies including the World Bank and the World Economic Forum. Of the nine surveys and assessments used for India, most relied on expert opinion on the extent of corruption and the rule of law and only one polled the general public.

Anil Sinha appointed new CBI chief
Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led Appointments Committee of Cabinet approved the appointment of Anil Sinha as the new Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) chief, hours after Ranjit Sinha relinquished office on superannuation. The Bihar cadre officer of the 1979 batch is presently the Special Director with the CBI. He has earlier worked as Additional Secretary in the Central Vigilance Commission. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh is the other member of the Appointments Committee of Cabinet. The three-member selection committee consisting of Mr. Modi, Opposition leader in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and Chief Justice of India H.L. Dattu had shortlisted his name along with that of another IPS officer.
Cabinets clear amendments to Companies Act, comprehensive legislation on hijacking
The Union Cabinet cleared four bills that are likely to be introduced in Parliament during the current session, including a comprehensive legislation against high jacking, which provides for death in extreme cases, and amendments to the Companies Act to make life simpler for the corporate sector. In addition, bill to replace the ordinance for auction of coal mines following a Supreme Court order cancelling blocks and amendments to the Regional Rural Banks (RRBs) Act were approved by cabinet. The Anti-Hijacking Bill provides for death in cases of death of a hostage or of a security personal, or with imprisonment for life with the moveable and immoveable property of such persons shall also be liable to be confiscated.

No 'language' barrier for nurse, HC tells Punjab govt
The Punjab and Haryana high court has told the Punjab government that it cannot put the language criterion above all while selecting a good nurse. The November 10 ruling came in a petition challenging the Punjab government's decision denying a meritorious woman a nurse's post on the ground that she did not possess the certificate of Punjabi language at the time of applying for the job. "Skills of a nurse are more important than language because the nature of the job is such. Therefore, language becomes to my mind a secondary consideration in finding a nurse who is a good human being so long as they make their meaning clear in doing the work assigned to them and to do it efficiently and without a whisper," held the court.

Agni-IV trial for shorter range successful
The maiden user trial of long range strategic missile Agni-IV was conducted successfully by the Army’s Strategic Forces Command (SFC) for a shortened range of 3,000 km as against its full range of 4,000 km from the Wheeler Island, off the Odisha coast. The nuclear weapons-capable, two-stage, solid fuelled missile was fired from a road mobile launcheras part of induction training by the SFC team. This was the fourth success for Agni-IV in a row as the previous three developmental flight trials were carried out by missile technologists of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) in November 2011, September 2012 and January 2014. The missile equipped with state-of-the-art avionics, fifth generation on-board computer and distributed architecture, has latest features to correct and guide itself during in-flight disturbances. It soared to an altitude 500 km before its re-entry vehicle equipped with heat shields re-entered the earth’s atmosphere withstanding scorching temperatures (which could reach as high as 4,000 degrees centigrade) and splashed down in the waters of the Indian Ocean near the pre-designated target point.

Wi-Fi for New Delhi station from Thursday
Surfing the internet is set to become faster and easier at the New Delhi railway station from Thursday. The initiative is being implemented by Rail Tel - a railways PSU providing telecom infrastructure. A senior railways official pointed out that the trial at all the platforms of the station has almost been completed. The service provider is finalizing the nitty-gritty like free time limit and the charges for using the facility. The facility would be provided at other major stations in the city after judging the response at the New Delhi station.


China, Maldives sign preliminary accord on bridge construction
China and Maldives a major element of the Beijing-sponsored Maritime Silk Road project have signed an accord to conduct preliminary study on constructing a bridge that would connect capital Male with the city’s international airport. Xinhua is reporting that the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a pre-feasibility study of the project has been signed. This would be followed by a full-scale project feasibility study, yielding a design plan, which would result in the two sides exploring possible funding options for the project.

Students create Guinness record with song
Students and staff from 119 nations belonging to a group of schools owned by an Indian in the U.A.E. sang their way into the Guinness World Records for the most nationalities singing a national anthem at any one time.More than 100,000 GEMS students, teachers, parents and staff sang ‘Ishy Baladi’ (Long Live My Nation)sthe national Anthem of the UAE in unison, marking the celebration ahead of the UAE’s 43rd National Day.

Business & Economy:

RBI keeps interest rates unchanged
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) kept the short-term indicative policy rate (repo rate) unchanged at 8 per cent, as the current economic environment is not conducive to cut rates. The central bank also indicated that a change in the monetary policy stance is likely early next calendar year, “including outside the policy review cycle.”“A change in the monetary policy stance at the current juncture is premature,” said RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, addressing a press conference to announce the Fifth Bi-monthly Monetary Policy, here. “We don’t want to change the rate. When we change, we want to change it for good,” he added. The central bank also kept the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) unchanged at 4 per cent. The repo is the rate at which banks borrow funds from the central bank and CRR is the portion of total deposits of customers, which commercial banks have to hold as reserves either in cash or as deposits with the central bank. However, Dr. Rajan said that “if the current inflation momentum and changes in inflationary expectations continue and fiscal developments are encouraging, a change in the monetary policy stance is likely early next year, including outside the policy review cycle.”

Sahara can sell 4 desi assets: SC
The prospect for Sahara chief Subrata Roy's release from Tihar jail brightened as the Supreme Court approved the company's plea to go ahead with the sale of four domestic properties. The sale is likely to raise Rs 2,710 crore as the group, part of the Rs 10,000 crore needed to fulfill bail conditions.The court allowed the group to sell properties in Jodhpur, Pune, Chauma in Gurgaon and Vasai in Mumbai after it was satisfied that the transactions were in accordance with its June 4 order. This order had stated that "such sales are not for a price lower than the estimated value indicated in the statement filed before this Court or the circle rates fixed for the area in which such properties are situated".


Hero swings record Rs 250 crore deal with Tiger Woods
Hero MotoCorp, the country's biggest bike company, announced that it had inked a four-year endorsement deal with ace golfer Tiger Woods for a whopping Rs 250 crore.