Monday, 7 December 2015

Current Affairs December 7, 2015

Sebi to participate in India International Trade Fair at Delhi

  • With an aim to spread financial literacy and investor education, capital markets regulator Sebi will participate in the India International Trade Fair being held at the national capital starting from November 14.
  • The main focus of the exhibition will be to showcase the well regulated Indian securities market, its various products and spreading investor education and awareness including cautioning the public against illegal money mobilisation schemes through talk shows by market experts and skits.
  • It will also display major investor friendly policies and facilities and live demo of Sebi Complaints Redress System (SCORES).

PM’s 2-nation tour to UK and Turkey begins from November 12

  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi will undertake a two-nation tour of the UK and Turkey from November 12 during which issues related to economy, security and energy are expected to dominate the discussions he will have in bilateral format in Britain and at G-20 Summit.

Obama rejects Canada’s Keystone XL pipeline to US

  • Ending a seven-year political saga, President Barack Obama killed the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, declaring it would have undercut US efforts to clinch a global climate change deal at the center of his environmental legacy.
  • Obama’s decision marked an unambiguous victory for environmental activists who spent years denouncing the pipeline, lobbying the administration and even chaining themselves to tractors to make their point about the threat posed by dirty fossil fuels. It also places the president and fellow Democrats in direct confrontation with Republicans and energy advocates heading into the 2016 presidential election.
  • The president, announcing his decision at the White House, said he agreed with a State Department conclusion that Keystone wouldn’t advance US national interests. He lamented that both political parties had “overinflated” Keystone into a proxy battle for climate change but glossed over his own role in allowing the controversy to drag out over several national elections.

UN watchdog confirms Syria mustard gas use, chlorine attack

  • The UN chemical weapons watchdog confirmed with “utmost confidence” that mustard gas was used in Syria in August during fighting between rebels and jihadists and “likely” killed a child.
  • Experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons also found toxic chemicals, including chlorine, were likely used as a weapon in an attack in Idlib province in March, the OPCW said in statement.
  • Three reports have been sent by the head of the OPCW to the body’s 192 members after separate missions to investigate incidents in Syria.
  • In one attack in the town of Marea in Aleppo province on August 21, the OPCW team investigated after “a non-state actor had allegedly used a chemical weapon.”
  • They collected samples and “interviewed two individuals affected by exposure” as well as the doctors that treated them.

Federal Bank to join sovereign gold bond scheme

  • Federal Bank (BSE 0.09 %) said it will distribute Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme as launched by the government.
  • “Federal Bank has joined the distribution of the bond and this product is offered through all its branches pan India. Facility to invest in the bonds online will also be launched shortly,” the bank said in a statement.
  • The bonds will earn a fixed rate of 2.75 per cent per annum payable semi annually on the initial value of investment.
  • K A Babu, Retail Business Head, said: “The customers who invest in physical gold may find gold sovereign bond scheme an attractive investment option as in addition to the investment earning an interest, the investor need not worry about the safety and quality of gold since this is in paper/ dematerialised form.
  • “Bank is happy to join the initiative from the day one of the scheme”, he added.

Royal Enfield to set up third plant to double capacity by 2018

  • Royal Enfield, the two-wheeler arm of Eicher Motors, plans to set up its third plant in Tamil Nadu to double its motorcycle production capacity to around 9 lakh units per annum by 2018.
  • The company is already in the process of raising production capacity at its two plants in the outskirts of Chennai to 4.5 lakh units per annum by the end of this year.
  • Eicher Motor’s board, which met, accorded in-principle approval for additional capacity creation at Royal Enfield.
  • The additional capacity will primarily come from the first phase of the new plant, the work on which would begin early next year, he added.
  • When asked about the proposed investment in the plant, Mr. Lal said the company would finalise the amount during its board meeting in February next year.

Afghanistan turns to India for military helicopters, likely to rile Pakistan

  • Afghanistan is poised to acquire four attack helicopters from India to help it fight a growing Taliban insurgency, a small but significant deal marking a shift in Kabul’s search for allies that is likely to anger Pakistan.
  • Soon after he took over, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani held off military assistance from India while he courted Pakistan’s political and military leadership to end years of mutual hostility and steer the Taliban, many of who live in Pakistan, toward negotiations.
  • But a wave of bombings in Kabul that Ghani said were plotted in Pakistan, followed by the Taliban encircling major cities including briefly taking over Kunduz in the north, has prompted a scramble to shore up support in the region.
  • Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar is due in New Delhi this weekend to finalise the transfer of the Russian-made Mi-25 helicopters, said sources in New Delhi and Kabul who are involved in the plans.

Apple Watch launched in India today; starts at Rs 30,900 and goes up to Rs 14.2 lakh

  • Apple has finally launched the Apple Watch in India today. Launched in three variants – Apple Watch Sport, Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition – and two sizes (38 mm and 42 mm), the device will be available in Gold, Rose Gold, Space Gray, Silver Anodized Aluminium, polished Silver or Space Black stainless steel and 18-Carat Rose Gold and Yellow Gold colour variants.
  • The price of the Silver Aluminium Case and White Sport Band is Rs 30,900 for the 38mm and Rs 34,900 for the 42mm respectively. The device adopting the 38mm and 42mm Stainless Steel Case with the White Sport Band is priced at Rs 48,900 and Rs 52,900.
  • The price goes up to Rs 95,900 along with the stainless steel Link Bracelet and Rs 60,900 in the Classic Buckle leather strap option in two colours. Recently-introduced red coloured sport band is another option.
  • Apple Watch Edition (made in 18-Carat Rose gold casing) starts at Rs 8.2 lakh for the 38mm variant paired with the cheapest White Sport Band. In addition, the price of the 42mm version is at Rs 9,90,000, while the most expensive one in the series is priced at Rs 14.2 lakh. At the moment, Apple Watch Hermes designer range has not been introduced in India.

Shaji Farooq becomes Wipro president

  • Shaji Farooq has been elevated as the president and chief executive of banking and financial services (BFSI) at Wipro.
  • Farooq joins three other presidents,- energy and utilities head Anand Padmanabhan, global infrastructure head G K Prasanna, and head of application services and strategic alliances Bhanumurthy B M, who together form the third level of executives, after CEO T K Kurien and COO Abidali Neemuchwala.
  • Farooq has also been inducted into Wipro’s highest decision-making body – the group executive council GEC) — a forum of core leaders who deliberate and strategize the long-term vision for he $7.6-billion IT company.

Ex-servicemen campaigning for One Rank One Pension threaten to return their awards

  • In wake of artists returning their awards, ex-servicemen now are threatening to return their awards and medals. Activists campaigning for One Rank One Pension have threatened to return their honours in view of the government’s failure to meet their demands.
  • According to them, the Defence Minister has not held discussions with them. They have alleged that the government has gone slow despite measures that were promised.
  • “We will return our awards and medals to the District Magistrate. Will make sure our medals reach the Prime Minister. We will celebrate black Diwali on November 11”, said Satbir, protesting ex-serviceman.

Meet India’s 9-year-old CEO-cum-cyber expert Paul Reuben

  • At his age, boys are just stepping into the fantasy world of Hogwarts and beginning to identify with the Wimpy Kid, but Reuben Paul has his eyes on the rain — the green code rain of The Matrix. The third-grader is already an accomplished hacker, app developer, cyber security expert and, not surprisingly, CEO of a game development firm, Prudent Games. In hacker circles, he is also a respected speaker, who shares his wisdom from the dais while standing on a chair hidden behind the lectern.
  • The smiling nine-year-old from Austin, Texas was back in action at Ground Zero Summit 2015, a meeting of cybersecurity experts and researchers that’s one of the biggest hacker conferences in the world. Last year, he had delivered his keynote on November 14, Children’s Day, but this time he’s here as a ‘special ambassador’ for teaching cybersecurity to children and has a special address lined up.
  • The four-day summit that has brought together an army of experts started at The Ashok Hotel with an address by the chief guest, Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Drawing attention to the new threat of radicalisation through social media, Singh said cybersecurity experts should try to stop it.

BCCI likely to remove N Srinivasan as ICC Chairman

  • The BCCI is likely to remove N Srinivasan as ICC chairman with current president Shashank Manohar a front-runner to replace him.
  • The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will meet in Mumbai on November 9, it is likely to set some major changes in motion.
  • Earlier, according to a report in the Indian Express, it was said that N Srinivasan will be replaced by board president Shashank Manohar as ICC chairman, while the likes of Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri and L Sivaramakrishnan are set to lose their commentary, as board officials meet at the AGM next week.

Heena Sidhu wins Gold in 10m air pistol event at Asian Shooting Championship

  • India’s Heena Sidhu made a grand return to form by winning the gold medal in the 10m air pistol women’s event at the 13th Asian Shooting Championship.
  • Heena, who won a gold at the righth Asian Air Gun Championship at home recently, shot an excellent 198.2 in the finals to edge out Mongolian Gundegma Otreyad, who shot 198.
  • Jangmi Kim of Korea won the bronze with a score of 176.2.
  • In the 10m air pistol junior women’s event, Shri Nivetha too won a gold with a score of 195.8 in the finals. She edged out Shinemurun Nyamdorj of Mongolia (195.4) and Heesun Kim of Korea (174.4), who won the silver and bronze medals respectively.
  • Shreya Gawande, Shri Nivetha and Oshin Tawani also combined to win the team gold with a combined total of 1114.
  • Mongoloia won the silver and Korea bagged the bronze
  • Besides, the Indian trio of Nayani Bharadwaj (374), Harshada Nithave (374) and Malaika Goel (365) also won the a gold in the team event of the 10M air pistol uouth women’s event.
  • In the 25m pistol men’s junior event, India’s Shivam Shukla won gold shooting a score of 576. Korea’s Jungwoo Park (575) and Jaekyoon Lee (572) claimed the silver and bronze respectively.
  • Shivam, Arjun Das and Achal Pratap Grewal also won the silver medal in the team event.
  • Meanwhile in the junior skeet men’s competition, Angad Bajwa secured the individual gold.
  • The team of Angad Bajwa (121), Anant Naruka (112) and Arjun Mann (114) shot a total of 347 to walk away with the team gold also in this category.

Indians sweep 11 medals in World Youth Chess Championships

  • Diwali celebrations came early for young Indian chess players as they won as many as 11 medals, including five gold, three silver and three bronze at the World Youth Chess Championships at Porto Carras in Greece.
  • M Mahalakshmi (Girls Under-18), R Vaishali (Girls U-14), her younger brother R Pragnanandaa (Open U-10), Rakshita Ravi (Girls U-10) and Bharath Subramaniyam (open U-8) dominated their respective sections to win the gold medal while Nihal Sarin (Open U-12) missed it by a whisker to settle for silver.

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