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1) How many Indian origin MP’s were eleted to UK Parliament during the British elections of 2015?
2) Which country has criticised European Union proposals to authorise the use of force against smugglers taking migrants across the Mediterranean to Europe?
3) After losing more than 4,000 people to Ebola, which country has now been declared free of the disease by the World Health Organization (WHO)?
4) What is the name of the former Army General who took over as the 8th President of Guyana on 16 May 2015?
Ans:- David Arthur Granger
5) The World’s first referendum on same sex marriage is being held in — ?
INDIA & WORLD
1) 119th Constitutional Amendment Bill is related to –?
Ans:- Land Boundary Agreement between India and Bangladesh
2) Name the festival of Indian Culture inaugurated in Russia on 10 May 2015 by the President of India?
Ans:- Namaste India
3) India has recently extended e-tourist visa scheme to — more countries?
4) What is India’s current global ranking in terms of electricity generation from nuclear source?
5) How many agreements have been signed between India and China for bilateral cooperation in several areas including economy, trade, science and technology and culture?
1) “Educate Encourage Enlighten” will be the new tagline of ____ as announced recently?
Ans:- New Education Policy
2) Name the programme launched by Government with Urban Local Bodies (ULBs) located on the banks of the river Ganga for achieving the objective of Clean Ganga?
Ans:- Nirmal Ganga Sahbhagita
3) Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) India has recently launched a new TV rating system in India. This will replace existing which rating system?
Ans:- TAM (Television Audience Measurement)
4) The Supreme Court on 13 May 2015 barred publication of photos of leaders in government advertisements except those of the —-?
Ans:- President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India
5) For the next 5 years, Namami Gange programme will have a budget outlay of ?
Ans:- Rs 20,000 crore
1) In which state a cow-urine refinery inaugurated for research on the cow products on 3 May 2015?
2) Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on 1 May 2015 introduced ___ rupees Accident Insurance Scheme for transport drivers?
Ans:- 5 lakh
3) Which state is site to the India’s first hydro-engineering college?
Ans:- Himachal Pradesh
4) Which court on 11 May 2015 acquitted AIADMK Chief J Jayalalithaa in the 19 year old disproportionate assets case?
Ans:- Karnataka High Court
5) Which thermal power plant will be built by NTPC in Jharkhand ?
Ans:- Patratu Plant
1) What is the theme of the 6th National Conference on Nuclear Energy was organized by ASSOCHAM in New Delhi on 15 May 2015?
Ans:- Nuclear Energy: A ‘Clean’ Energy option
2) In 2015, where will the conference to establish a new international framework replacing the 1997 Kyoto Protocol be held –?
AWARDS & HONOURS
1) Name the Indian who won the Whitley Award 2015 for his work to protect the iconic Great Indian Bustard in the Thar Desert?
Ans:- Pramod Patil
2) Dr Prannoy Roy who was recently conferred the RedInk Award for lifetime achievement is the executive co-chairman of?
3) Which district in India has received 2015 UN Public Service Award?
Ans:- Nadia, West Bengal
4) Who has been conferred with the Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters for his contribution to the fashion industry?
Ans:- Wendell Rodricks
5) The PEN literary award for freedom of speech has been awarded to __?
Ans:- Charlie Hebdo
SPORTS & GAMES
1) Name the team that won the English Premier League 2014-15 football title on 3 May 2015 held at London?
2) In which country BRICS Under-17 Football Cup set to be held?
3) Who won the 2015 Mutua Madrid Open Men’s Singles Title?
Ans:- Andy Murray
4) Who won the inaugural BNP Paribas Istanbul Open Tennis men’s single title?
Ans:- Roger Federer
5) Jonathan Trott who has recently retired from International Cricket is from which country?
1) Which French IT firm recently announced to buy US rival IGATE for 4 billion US dollar?
2) Which company has announced that it would merge its retail operations with Bharti Retail Ltd. to create one of India’s biggest retail chains with more than 570 stores across the country?
Ans:- Future Retail
3) Which entity during May 2015 completed India’s single largest office space leasing deal so far by signing up for a 2-million sq. ft. custom-built office campus in Bengaluru?
4) By what percent, Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell in the month of April 2015 as against 8.48 percent in April last year due to decline in the prices of food articles?
5) Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) on 13 May 2015 gave its approval for ___% disinvestment in NTPC and ___% in Indian Oil Corporation respectively?
Ans:- 5% and 10%
6) National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) on 8 May 2015 announced a ___ percent reduction in charges for transactions on its inter-bank ATM network?
Ans:- 10 %
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
1) A new strategic naval base of the Indian Navy named “INS Sardar Patel” was commissioned on 9 May 2015. This base has been established in which coastal city of Gujarat?
2) Canada has most recently pledged to reduce Greenhouse gas emmisions by how many percentage points by 2030?
3) Japanese Scientists on 14 May 2015 discovered a new state of matter called?
4) How many smokers (approx.) are there globally as disclosed in the newly disclosed status report of Global Statistics on Addictive Behaviours (GSAB)?
Ans:- 1 billion
5) An advanced version of the BrahMos land-attack cruise missile was successfully test-fired on 9 May 2015 from the Car Nicobar Islands at?
Ans:- Andaman and Nicobar Islands
6) The ‘Kavaratti’ ship has been launched on 19th May’15 at a glittering ceremony held at Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd (GRSE), Kolkata. It is the _______ Ship of Project-28?
PERSONS IN NEWS
1) Name the Indian-origin Member of Parliament in Britain appointed as the new Employment Minister in British Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet?
Ans:- Priti Patel
2) Who has been appointed as the President of Japan’s multinational telecommunications and internet company SoftBank Corp on 11 May 2015?
Ans:- Nikesh Arora
1) Name the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu resigned on 21 May 2015?
Ans:- O Panneerselvam
1) Ruth Rendell, who passed away on 2 May 2015, was associated with which field?
Ans:- Crime fiction writing
1) In which city of China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi held Summit level talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping on 14 May 2015?
1) Mumbai sessions court on 6 May 2015 sentenced Bollywood film star Salman Khan to five years in prison, for killing a man in a hit-and-run accident happened in which year?
PLACES IN NEWS
1) Name the city that would become the first in India to get Google Street View as announced on 12 May 2015?
ABBREVIATIONS IN NEWS
1) What is full form of DARPA ?
Ans:- Defense Advance Research Project Agency
BOOKS IN NEWS
1) Book titled Unbelievable – Delhi to Islamabad was released on 8 May 2015 by Vice President M Hamid Ansari in New Delhi. Who is the author of this book?
Ans:- Bhim Singh
COMMITTEES IN NEWS
1) Which committee was set up to review of deep-sea fishing Policy and Guidelines?
Ans:- Meenakumari committee
DAYS & DATES
The World Press Freedom day was observed globally on –?
Ans:- 3 May 2015
1) Which country carried out its first air strikes in Syria, as part of the US-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants?
2) Name the political party of Pakistan that decided to join parliament after almost seven months of absence from the National Assembly and provincial assemblies of Punjab and Sindh?
3) Which country’s president condemned psychiatric therapies designed to repair gay, lesbian and transgender youth?
Ans:- United States
4) China is planning to build a 540-kilometre strategic high-speed rail link between Tibet and ____ passing through a tunnel under Mount Everest?
5) Saudi Arabia on 21 April 2015 ended its month-long military operation against the Houthi rebels under which air strikes were conducted. What was the name of this operation?
Ans:- Operation Decisive Storm
INDIA & WORLD
1) Name the massive air and sea operation recently launched by India to evacuate over 4000 Indians from Yemen?
Ans:- Operation Raahat
2) Which international organization on 1 April 2015 launched a group against terrorism named ‘Group of Friends against terrorism’ with 30 members including India? Ans:- United Nations
3) With which country has India signed Memorandum of Cooperation for transportation on 8 April 2015?
Ans:- United States of America
4) India was placed at 101st place in the Social Progress Index (SPI) ratings that were released globally on 9 April 2015. Which country topped this list?
5) Indian formally ended its massive evacuation efforts in Yemen named “Operation Raahat” on 10 April 2015. This mission successfully evacuated how many people from war-torn Yemen?
1) Name the scheme that has been suspended by Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) from April 2015?
Ans:- Minimum Monthly Pension Scheme
2) Union Government on 3 April 2015 extended the deadline for implementation of the National Food Security Act (NFSA) deadline by ____ months?
Ans:- Six months
3) Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has recently recommended which number as the single emergency number across the country?
4) The Government has constituted a task force comprising experts and senior officials to be chaired by B N Navalawala, Ex-Secretary of Ministry of Water Resources. What is the major responsibility of the task force?
Ans:- Interlinking of Rivers
5) Name the project launched by the Railway Minister Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu on 21 April 2015 for monitoring the implementation of budget announcements?
1) Which state has launched the subsidised Aahar scheme on the occasion of the State’s Foundation Day on 1 April 2015?
2) Andhra Pradesh Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on 1 April 2015 approved which city as the new capital of the state?
3) PepsiCo India on 3 April 2015 commissioned first phase of its largest beverage plant in India in which state?
Ans:- Andhra Pradesh
4) President Pranab Mukherjee inaugurated the Centenary Year Celebrations of which High Court on 18 April 2015?
Ans:- Patna High Court
5) Which state government has launched a major campaign Subodham, in a bid to wean people away from addiction to liquor?
1) Summit of the Americas, which was held on 10-11 April 2015 at Panama City (Panama), was which edition of the multilateral summit?
AWARDS & HONOURS
1) Who Arab poet recently won the 2015 Kumaran Asan World Prize for poetry?
2) Which city has been awarded for its performance in renewable energy by WWF ?
3) In which field Hevesy Medal is given?
Ans:- Nuclear and Radio Chemistry
4) ) Name the Indian-origin CEO who was honoured with the White House Champions of Change on 16th April 2015?
Ans:- Satya Nadella
5) Name the Bollywood actor was on 21 April 2015 honoured with the Dadasaheb Phalke Film Foundation Award 2015 for his performance in the movie Happy New Year?
Ans:- Shah Rukh Khan
SPORTS & GAMES
1) Daniel Vettori who announced his retirement from international cricket plays for which country?
Ans:- New Zealand
2) Who was recently named as the Leading Cricketer in the World in the 2015 Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack?
Ans:- Kumar Sangakkara
3) Which Australian cricketer recently announced his retirement from ODIs?
Ans:- Michael Clarke
4) Name the driver who won the Chinese Formula One (F1) Grand Prix for 2015 held on 12 April 2015 at Shanghai?
Ans:- Lewis Hamilton (Britain)
5) What is the name of the 21-year old English batsman who made cricketing history by scoring 350 in a one-day club match on 20 April 2015?
Ans:- Liam Livingstone
1) Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 1 April 2015 sanctioned the scheme of amalgamation of ING Vysya Bank Ltd. with which bank?
Ans:- Kotak Mahindra Bank
2) As per the World bank Report 2015, which country has stood at the bottom of eight economies in South Asia?
3) Which entity becomes the first public sector undertaking (PSU) to hit the market in fiscal year 2015-16 with its disinvestment taking place on 8 April 2015?
Ans:- Rural Electrification Corporation (REC)
4) Which entity has become India’s newest public sector undertaking (PSU) during April 2015 after Union Govt. increased its stake to over 51% in this entity?
Ans:- IFCI Limited
5) Newly formed Mudra Bank will be part of?
Ans:- Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI)
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
1) Which country has recently developed an anti-ballistic missile system called “David’s Sling”?
2) Surface-to-Surface nuclear-capable Dhanush ballistic missile was successfully test-fired on 9 April 2015 from a naval ship at?
Ans:- Odisha coast
3) US space agency NASA during April 2015 revealed the first-ever colour image of dwarf planet Pluto.This photo was taken by a Pluto probe that was sent by the agency in 2006. What is the name of this probe?
Ans:- New Horizons
4) India recently successfully test-fired its which nuclear-capable ballistic missile with a strike range of 350 km from a naval ship off the Odisha coast?
PERSONS IN NEWS
1) Who has been appointed as the new President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 2015-16?
Ans:- Sumit Mazumder
2) Who was sworn in as the first lady judge of the Sikkim High Court on 15 April 2015?
Ans:- Meenakshi Madan Rai
1) Mustafa Kamal stepped down from the post of International Cricket Council (ICC) President on 1 April 2015. He belongs to which country?
1) Renowned poet Kailash Vajpeyi who died on 1 April 2015 is famous in which language?
2) Name the former Australian cricket captain and legendary commentator who died in Sydney on 10 April 2015?
Ans:- Richie Benaud
1) Which Sculpture has been presented to Narendra Modi by Canadian Prime Minister?
Ans:- Parrot Lady
1) Name the 12-year-old Muslim girl who recently won the first position at the Shrimad Bhagwad Gita Champion League?
Ans:- Mariyam Asif Siddiqui
PLACES IN NEWS
1) What is the name of the Islamist militant group that stormed into a university campus in Kenya on 2 April 2015 and took Christian students hostage resulting in death of at least 15 persons?
Ans:- Al Shabaab
ABBREVIATIONS IN NEWS
1) What is the full form of ‘ IFCI ‘?
Ans:- Industrial Finance Corporation of India
BOOKS IN NEWS
1) Who is the author of the book titled “Historical Documents Testify the ‘ Sovereignty of Senkaku”?
Ans:- Tadayoshi Murata
COMMITTEES IN NEWS
1) Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry on 8 April 2015 formed an expert committee under the chairmanship of whom to suggest simplified compliance for establishing new industries?
Ans:- Ajay Shankar
DAYS & DATES
1) World Malaria Day was observed on —?
Ans:- April 25
China Approves New Nuclear Reactors In Industry Revival
China is reviving growth of its nuclear power industry with approval of its first new project since Japan’s 2011 Fukushima disaster. The Cabinet’s planning agency on 11 March approved construction of two additional reactors at a power plant in the northeastern province of Liaoning.China is the world’s biggest energy consumer and nuclear power plays a key role in government plans to curb surging demand for imported oil and gas.
North Korea and Russia Declared 2015 as Friendship Year
North Korea and Russia will mark 2015 as a year of friendship and step up bilateral exchanges in political, economic and cultural sectors.”The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation decided to make 2015, in which falls the 70th anniversaries of Korea’s liberation and the victory in the great Patriotic War in Russia, as a year of friendship between the two countries.
Japan and France Signed Defence Agreement
Japan and France on 13 March signed a agrrment on military equipment and technology transfers , in a move to drive cooperation and joint development of defence gear, as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe strengthens security ties with major powers.
Muhammadu Buhari Elected As Nigerian President
Former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari was elected as the president of Nigeria on 31 March, making him the first opposition candidate to win a presidential vote in the country’s history. This Presidential Election was held on 28 March 2015 all across Nigeria, which is the most populous country in Africa and is also the largest economy of the continent. Gen. Buhari’s All Progressives Congress (APC) defeated President Jonathan’s People’s Democratic Party (PDP) by over 2 million votes.
INDIA & WORLD
India and Spain Signed Agreement On Defence Ties
India and Spain on 5 March signed an agreement on ‘Mutual Protection of Classified Information’ to provide the framework for an enhanced cooperation in the defence sector. The agreement was signed after the meeting between Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Moremes and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar in New Delhi.
Saudi Arabia Becomes Top Arms Importer
According to the IHS company study report released on 8 March, Saudi Arabia overtook India to become the world’s biggest weapons importer in 2014, a year when global defence trade rose for the sixth straight year to a record $64.4 billion. The top five importers in 2014 were Saudi Arabia, India, China, UAE and Taiwan.
India and Seychelles Signed Four Agreements
India on 11 March signed four agreements with the Indian Ocean island nation to boost security and maritime partnership. They were signed in the fields of renewable energy, hydro graphic survey, electronics navigation and infrastructure development at the island of Seychelles.These agreements and MoU’s were signed by Secretary (West) Navtej Sarna from Indian side in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President of Seychelles James Alix Michel.
India and Sri Lanka Signed Four Agreements
India and Sri Lanka on 13 March signed four agreements to cement cooperation between the two neighbours, including a customs pact to balance trade, a credit line of more than $300 million, a currency swap agreement and visa on arrival for Sri Lankan nationals in India. The agreements were signed in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Srilankan President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo.
New UK scholarship Announced For Indian Finance Professionals
United Kingdom (UK) Chancellor George Osborne has on 13 March launched the first-of-kind scholarships for Indian finance professionals who want to study in Britain. The Chevening Financial Services Leadership programme was launched by Osborne in London.
Govt To Launch Atal Pension Yojna (APY) On 1 June
Atal Pension Yojna (APY), announced in the 2015-16 Budget , will be launched on 1st of June 2015 and will focus on all citizens in the unorganised sector entitling them to a pension of up to Rs 5,000 per month after 60 years of age. The existing subscribers of Swavalamban Scheme would be automatically migrated to the APY pension scheme, unless they opt out. The minimum age of joining APY is 18 years and maximum age is 40 years.
Parliament Passes Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Parliament on 4 March passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2015. The bill was passed by Lok Sabha on 2 March and was cleared by the upper house also called Rajya Sabha on 4 March 2015. The bill seeks an amendment in the Citizenship Act, 1955 and to merge the Person of Indian Origin (PIO) and Overseas Citizenship of India (OCI) schemes.
Lok Sabha Passed Land Acquisition (amendment) Bill, 2015
Lok Sabha on 10 March 2015 passed the Land Acquisition (amendment) Bill, 2015. The bill was passed by voice vote along with incorporated 9 new amendments moved by Union government. The bill amends the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement (RFCTLARR) Act, 2013.
Parliament Passed Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015
Parliament has passed Insurance Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2015.It was first passed in Lok Sabha on 4 March 2015 and later in Rajya Sabha on 12 March 2015. In both the houses the bill was passed by voice vote. The amendment bill replaces ordinance promulgated in this regard and aims to bring improvements and revisions in the existing laws relating to insurance business in India.The amendment bill hikes Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) cap in the insurance sector to 49 percent from present 26 percent.
Parliament Passed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015
Parliament has passed Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Amendment Bill, 2015. The bill was first passed in Rajya Sabha and later in Lok Sabha on 20 March 2015.The Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha after the Union government had accepted the recommendations of the Select Committee. The amendments in the bill were made in the bill passed by Lok Sabha on 4 March 2015.It seeks to amend the Mines and Minerals (Regulation and Development) Act, 1957 and replace the ordinance promulgated in January 2015.
‘ Aapki Beti Humari Beti ‘ Scheme Launched In Haryana
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on 8 March launched a scheme for girl child – ‘Aapki Beti Humari Beti’ – with an aim to combat the problem of declining child sex ratio in the state. The scheme will cover first-born girl child of Scheduled Caste (SC) and Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and all second girl child born on or after 22nd January 2015 of all families in the state.
Maharashtra Government Launched Bhagyashree Scheme
Maharashtra Government has launched ‘Bhagyashree Scheme’ for girl child from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families, on 8 March.’ Bhagyashree Scheme’ has replaced the state government’s previous ‘Sukanya Scheme’. Bollywood actress Bhagyashree is the brand ambassador of the scheme. The Bhagyashree scheme aims at providing one lakh rupee on maturity after the girl completes 18 years of age.
Assam Govt Launched “Momai Tamuli Barbaruah Krishak Bondhu” Scheme
Assam government has on 15 March launched the “Momai Tamuli Barbaruah Krishak Bondhu Scheme” to increase agricultural production. Under the programme ‘Momai Tamuli Barbaruah Krishak Bondhu Scheme’, facilities and assistance will be provided for double cropping in all the crop areas which have so far been utilised for single cropping only.
Gujarat Legislative Assembly Passes Anti-Terror Bill
The Gujarat Legislative Assembly on 31 March 2015 passed Gujarat Control of Terrorism and Organized Crime (GUJCOC) Bill, 2015. It is third time this controversial Bill being passed by state assembly. Earlier, passed bill was rejected two times by the then Presidents in 2004 and 2008 for reconsideration.
International Conference On Counter Terrorism
India’s first conference on Counter-Terrorism was held from 19 – 21 March 2015 in Jaipur, Rajasthan. The conference was named as International Counter-Terrorism Conference 2015 and it was organised by India Foundation in association with the Sardar Patel University of Police Security and Criminal Justice-Jodhpur. The central theme of the Conference is Integrated Approach to Counter-Terrorism. The Conference was inaugurated by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh.The focus of the deliberations was on exploring the contours of 21st century terrorism and sharing the Counter-Terrorism expertise. Some of the sub-themes on which the conference focused include 26/11 Mumbai Terror Attack, Talibanisation of Af-Pak region, New Caliphate in West Asia, Maritime Terrorism and Piracy, Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) Terrorism and Cyber and Space terrorism.
AWARDS & HONOURS
Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba Won Mo Ibrahim Prize
Hifikepunye Pohamba, outgoing Namibian President, on 2 March won the Mo Ibrahim prize for achievement in African leadership for year 2014.Pohamba served as Namibian President two terms. For first time he was elected in 2004 and again in 2009. The award is named after Mo Ibrahim, a British-Sudanese mobile communications entrepreneur and philanthropist, who had made billions of fortune from investing in Africa.
Veerappa Moily Selected For Saraswati Samman 2014
Former Union minister and senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily was on 9 March selected for the prestigious Saraswati Samman for 2014 for his famous Kannada poem ‘Ramayana Mahanveshanam’. Divided into five volumes, Ramayana Mahanveshanam was first published in 2007 in Kannada. Later the poem was translated into English, Hindi, Telugu and Tamil.
Activist Rajendra Singh Won Stockholm Water Prize – 2015
Rajendra Singh, an eminent environment activist, has been conferred the prestigious Stockholm Water Prize 2015 for his innovative water restoration efforts and extraordinary courage to empower communities in Indian villages. He is popularly known as Water Man of India.
Shashi Kapoor Selected For ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2014′
Veteran actor and film producer Shashi Kapoor has been named for the prestigious Dada Saheb Phalke Award 2014. He is the 46th winner of the honour, conferred by the government for outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Indian Cinema. The 2014 Dadasaheb Phalke award to Shashi Kapoor made him the third member of Kapoor family to receive the award after Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor.
62nd National Film Awards 2014
The 62nd National Film Awards for year 2014 was announced on 24 March 2015. Court directed by Chaitanya Tamhane was selected as the Best feature film. Mary Kom (Hindi) directed by Omung Kumar was selected as the Best Popular film providing wholesome entertainment. The 62nd National Film Awards in the various categories are as follows:-
* Best Actor – Vijay for Nanu Avanalla Avalu (Kannada).
* Best Actress – Kangana Ranaut for Queen (Hindi).
* Best Direction -Srijit Mukherji, Director of Chotushkone (Bengali).
* Best Hindi Film – Queen
* Best Children’s Film - Kaakkaa Muttai (Tamil) and Elizabeth Ekadashi (Marathi).
* Indira Gandhi Award for Best Debut Film of a Director – Aditya Vikram Sengupta for Asha Jaoar Majhe (Bengali).
* Nargis Dutt Award for Best Feature Film on National Integration – Chotoder Chobi (Bengali) directed by Kaushik Ganguly.
SPORTS & GAMES
Karnataka Won Ranji Trophy 2015
Karnataka on 12 March won their eighth Ranji Trophy title of cricket. In the title clash played at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai, Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs. Karnataka defeated Tamil Nadu by an innings and 217 runs in the final day of match played at the Wankhede stadium in Mumbai.The man of the match was Karnataka’s Karun Nair who had scored 338 runs.
India Open Super Series Badminton 2015 Winners
Women’s Singles :- India’s ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on 29 March won India Open Super Series Badminton Women’s Singles 2015 Title. She defeated Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in the final match played at Siri Fort Indoor Complex in New Delhi.
Men’s Single’s :- India’s Srikanth Kidambi has won India Open Super Series Badminton Men’s Singles 2015 Title. In the final match he defeated Denmark’s Viktor Axelsen.
Australia Won ICC Cricket World Cup For 5th time
Australia on 29 March 2015 won the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 for the record fifth time. In the final match Australia defeated co-hosts of the tournament, New Zealand by 7 wickets played at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia. Australia fast bowler Mitchell Starc was named the Player of the Tournament who finished with a figure of 22 wickets in the tournament. He was tied with New Zealand left-arm seamer Trent Boult for taking highest wickets in the tournament. Australian all-rounder James Faulkner was adjudged man of the match, while the man of the series award went to Mitchell Starc. He finished the tournament with 22 wickets.
Saina Nehwal Becomes First Indian Woman To Attain World No.1 Ranking
Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on 28 March created history by becoming first Indian woman to be ranked number one in the world in Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings in Women’s Singles category. She achieved this rare feat after Spain’s Carolina Marin’s lost her semi-final match to Thailand’s Ratchanok Intanon in the Indian Open Super Series. Saina has overtaken China’s Li Xuerui to become the highest ranked player in the world. Saina Nehwal is the second Indian badminton player to achieve this feat, after legendary shuttler Prakash Padukone. He had achieved the top rank in 1980 in Men’s Single Category.
RBI reduced Repo Rate By 25 Basis Points To 7.5 percent
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 4 March reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points to 7.5 percent with immediate effect. This is the second time since January 2015 that RBI reduced the repo rate by 25 basis points. With this, the reverse repo rate under the LAF stands adjusted to 6.5 percent, and the marginal standing facility (MSF) rate and the Bank rate to 8.5 percent.
India’s Billionaires To Rise 104% By 2024
According to the latest Knight Frank Wealth Report, as of 2014,Wealth creation in India is likely to accelerate significantly with the number of ultra-wealthy individuals expected to double to 3,371 by 2024. India is home to 1,652 ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWIs), which is likely to swell to 3,371 by the year 2024, registering a jump of 104 per cent. The number of UHNWIs in India has increased from 622 in 2004 to 1,652 in 2014, registering a rise of 166 per cent over the past decade (2004-2014). At 0.1 UHNWI per lakh population, India ranks a distant 84 among 97 countries globally in terms of equitable distribution of wealth.
Indian Railways Signed MoU with LIC For Rs 1.5 lakh crore Investments
Indian Railways on 11 March signed an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) to raise Rs 1.5 lakh crore for financing the development of its various commercially viable infrastructure projects. Under this MoU, LIC will make available a Financial Assistance of 150000 crore rupees to the Indian Railways for implementing Railway projects over the next five years. The Financial Assistance will be available from the Financial Year 2015-16.
India Becomes 3rd Biggest Steel Producer Over Takes US
India has become the third-largest steel producer in the world by overtaking United States (US) in first two months of year 2015. It was revealed in the Data compiled by World Steel Association (WSA) on 22 March.India’s production in first two months i.e. January- February of 2015 was 14.56 million tonnes (MT). This production growth was the highest during this two month period at 7.6% as compared to the global average of just 0.6% at 127.6 MT.China tops in steel production and accounts for nearly half of the global steel production. During this period China has produced 65 MT steel.
SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY
SpaceX Rocket Lifts Off with World’s First All Electric Satellites
World’s first electric satellites were successfully lifted off by a Space Exploration (SpaceX) Technologies rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, United States on 1 March. The rocket was carrying two all-electric commercial satellites built by Boeing. The satellites are owned by the French satellite provider Eutelsat and Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS).
NASA’s Dawn Spacecraft Completed Its Orbit Around Dwarf Planet Ceres
NASA’s Dawn space probe has on 6 March completed its orbit around dwarf planet Ceres which is the largest object in the Solar System between Mars and Jupiter. With the completion of orbit, Dawn probe has become first spacecraft to visit dwarf planet. Dawn has taken 7.5 years to reach the orbit of Ceres.
‘ Solar Impulse – 2′ Begins Its Journey Around the World
‘ Solar Impulse – 2′, a solar-powered airplane, started its historic 35,000-km round-the-world journey from Abu Dhabi on 9 March 2015. Solar Impulse-2 took off from Abu Dhabi on its 5-month long journey in which it will skip from continent to continent, crossing both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans in the process. Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard are the two pilots of this mission.
Pakistan Successfully Tests Indigenous Drone Burraq and Barq
Pakistan on 13 March successfully tested its first indigenously built all-weather armed drone named Burraq and a laser guided missile named Barq.By successfully testing of Burraq, Pakistan became the 9th country in the World to develop an unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) domestically.
ISRO successfully Launched Fourth Navigation Satellite ‘ IRNSS 1D ‘
Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) on 28 March 2015 successfully launched fourth navigation satellite Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) 1D. Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) C27 injected IRNSS 1D into the designated orbit from the first launch pad of Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota in Andhra Pradesh. This was the 28th consecutive successful flight of PSLV. IRNSS is a navigation system that will cover India, and also extend 1,500 kms from its boundaries. It will provide accurate position information to users in India. Basically it will provide two kinds of services, Standard Positioning Services, which is available to all users, and an encrypted service that is provided only to authorized users.
PERSONS IN NEWS
Jagmohan Dalmiya Elected as BCCI president
agmohan Dalmiya was unanimously elected as the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) at Annual General meeting held in Chennai on 2 March.Dalmiya had served BCCI as its President between 2001 and 2004. He also served as the President of International Cricket Council (ICC) between 1997 and 2000.
Venkatraman Ramakrishnan Named as President of Britain’s Royal Society
Nobel laureate Sir Venkatraman Ramakrishnan on 18 March was named as the President of Britain’s prestigious Royal Society, a communion of the many of the world’s most distinguished scientists. Ramakrishnan, who will take up the post on the 1 December 2015, will succeed geneticist Sir Paul Nurse, also a Nobel Laureate.
Union Minister Dadarao Danve Resigns
Union Minister Minister of State (MoS) for Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Raosaheb Dadarao Danve on 5 March resigned from the office. Raosaheb Danve resigned from the Union Council of Ministers following the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJPs) one-man, one-post principle after he was appointed President of Maharashtra in January 2015. He took over as Maharashtra BJP president after Devendra Fadnavis became the Chief Minister state who had led the party to power in October 2014 Assembly elections.
Senior Journalist Vinod Mehta Died
Senior journalist and former editor of Outlook, Vinod Mehta died on 8 March in New Delhi. He was 73. Mehta, who had founded the Outlook Magazine and served as its Editor-in-Chief, last held the post of editorial Chairman of the publication. Vinod Mehta was born on May 31, 1942 in Rawalpindi, West-Punjab region of undivided India (now in Pakistan). He wrote the best-selling autobiography ‘Lucknow Boy’ in 2011. He has authored a biography of Meena Kumari (movie actress and poet) and Sanjay Gandhi- The Sanjay Story (2012).
Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visited Sri Lanka
Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Sri Lanka on 13 – 14 March 2015. The visit follows President Maithripala Sirisena’s first overseas visit to India in February 2015. During his two day visit Narendra Modi met Srilankan President Maithripala Sirisena in Colombo.In the visit, India and Sri Lanka signed four agreements. Narendra Modi also announced e-visa on arrival services for Sri Lankans, a $ 318 million Line of Credit to upgrade Sri Lanka’s railways, and a promise to build Trincomalee as a petroleum hub, while seeking movement on the 500 MW Sampur power project, that has been delayed for years due to environmental concerns.
PM Narendra Modi Among 30 Most Influential People On Internet
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been named among the 30 most influential people on the internet by Time magazine in a list which also features US President Barack Obama. The list, which analysed social-media followings, site traffic and overall ability to drive news, also includes British author of the Harry Potter series J K Rowling and singers Taylor Swift and Beyonce. The list was released on 6 March 2015.
PLACES IN NEWS
World’s Largest and Tallest Indian Flag Unfurled In Faridabad
World’s largest and tallest Indian national flag was unfurled on 3 March 2015 at Town Park in Faridabad, Haryana.It was unfurled by Bhartiya Janta Party President Amit Shah.The flag has dimension of 96 feet by 64 feet and weighs 48 kilograms. Flag was hoisted at the height of 250 feet (75 meters). Thus, making it the world’s largest and the highest hoisted Indian flag in the world.
NABARD —- National Bank for Agricultural and Rural Development
BCCI — Board of Control for Cricket in India
EPFO — Employees’ Provident Fund Organization
UNICEF — United Nations Children’s Fund
NSE — National Stock Exchange
BOOKS IN NEWS
The Modi Effect Authored by Lance Price
Book titled “The Modi Effect: Inside Narendra Modi’s Campaign to Transform India” written by Lance Price, former media advisor to the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair.The book was published in the month of March 2015 in India by Hachette. The book is based on the author’s interviews with the prime minister, his Cabinet colleagues like Piyush Goyal, Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani and his team of advisers and analysts.
Ajay Shankar Committee Constituted To Review The Existing PPP Cell In Railway Board
The Ministry of Railways appointed Ajay Shankar committee on 25 March to review the performance of the Public Private Partnership (PPP) cell functioning under the Railway Board.Ajay Shankar is a former Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) under Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
IMPORTANT DAYS AND DATES
World Tuberculosis Day was Observed On 24 March
World Tuberculosis Day 2015 was globally observed on 24 March 2015. The theme for the year 2015 is continuation of the 2014 theme Reach the 3 Million. The main sub-theme and message for the year 2015 is Reach, Treat, Cure Everyone. The World Tuberculosis Day is annually celebrated on 24 March to commemorate the day on which Dr. Robert Koch discovered the cause of tuberculosis, the TB bacillus in 1882. The day aims to build public awareness about the global epidemic of tuberculosis (TB) and efforts to eliminate the disease.
World Water Day 2015
World Water Day 2015 was globally observed on 22 March 2015 with the theme Water and Sustainable Development. The theme for the WWD 2015 talks about how water links to all areas we need to consider creating the future we want. World Water Day is celebrated every year to make a difference for the members of the global population who suffer from water related issues. It’s a day to prepare for how we manage water in the future.
Greece Parliament has elected Zoe Konstantopoulou, a member of the left wing party Syriza as its new President on 6 February. She was elected after receiving a record number of 235 of 300 deputies’ votes in the Parliament. With this win, she has the record of more votes a President of parliament received after the restoration of democracy in Greece in 1974. This will be the second time that a woman is elected as the Greece Parliament President, with the first being Anna Psarouda-Benaki in 2004. However, Konstantopoulou also set another record, since the 38-year-old politician is the youngest Parliament President that has ever been elected in Greece.
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott on 9 February survived a vote of confidence motion on spilling the top leadership of Liberal Party. Tony Abbott was elected as the Prime Minister of Australia in September 2013.
The leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France signed a Ceasefiredeal on 12 February after marathon talks at Minsk, the capital of Belarus. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko hosted these talks which were held in the background of new attacks in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk regions on 12 February. At the end of the talks, both Russia and Ukraine agreed to bring into effect a ceasefire in the warring zone of eastern Ukraine from 15 February 2015.
Sri Lankan Parliament has passed the Assistance to and Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses Bill on 20 February. This bill aims at protecting the rights of criminal victims and witnesses especially in human rights accountability.
India and China on 2 February jointly launched the Visit India Year in China in Beijing. The initiative is aimed at enhancing the flow of tourists from China to India and to strengthen the people to people bond. China will support the promotion of Indian tourist resources in its country.
India has been placed at 29th rank among the 30 countries in the international intellectual property (IP) index released by U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center (GIPC) on 4 February. US has been placed at the top in the list and Thailand at last position.
India was ranked 136 out of 180 nations worldwide in terms of press freedom in 2015, which marks an improvement from its rank of 140 in 2014, even though its absolute score declined from 40.34 to 40.49. In the top of the list were three Scandinavian countries: Finland on the 1st position followed by Norway and Denmark.
Sri Lanka’s newly-elected President Maithripala Sirisena on 16 February held talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.After the talks, India and Sri Lanka signed bilateral agreements on civil nuclear cooperation, cultural cooperation and cooperation in the field of Agriculture. Besides, an agreement was also signed for Sri Lanka’s participation in the Nalanda University Project.India and Sri Lanka also agreed to expand defence and strategic cooperation, including a trilateral format with the Maldives.
The United States on 24 February announced that it would allow work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders from 26 May 2015. Under existing US laws, spouses of H-1B visa holders are not eligible to work. This announcement is expected to benefit thousands of talented and professional spouses who have settled in US but are unable to work.
The Union government has on 5 February decided to notify 31 major minerals as minor ones.This is being done to devolve more power to the states and, consequently, expedite the process of mineral development in the country. State governments are allowed to make rules to regulate the grant of quarry leases, mining leases or other mineral concessions in respect of minor minerals.
Telecom regulator Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on 7 February released a report on subscriber base. India telecom subscriber base reaches all-time high at 970 million at the end of December 2014.The number of telephone subscribers in India increased from 964.20 million at the end of November 2014 to 970.97 million at the end of December 2014. This surpasses the previous record of 965.5 million reached in June 2012. Teledensity in the country, which means connection per 100, reached 77.58.
The first meeting of the Governing Council of NITI (National Institution for Transforming India) Aayog was held in New Delhi on 8 February. The meeting was presided by NITI Aayog’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.During the meeting, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has constituted three sub-groups of Chief Ministers within National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog.
* First sub-group - It will study the 66 centrally-sponsored schemes and recommend which schemes should continue, which should be transferred to states, and which to discontinue.
* Second sub-group – It will focus on skill development and creation of skilled manpower within states.
* Third sub-group – It will decide on the institutional mechanisms to be evolved for Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan, so that cleanliness becomes a part of life in perpetuity.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the centrally sponsored nation-wide ‘Soil Health Card’ (SHC) scheme on 19 February in Suratgarh town of Sriganganagar district, Rajasthan. The nationwide scheme will help farmers to scientifically analyse the soil of farms in the country. The scheme aims at helping farmers in improving productivity by appropriate use of nutrients or fertilisers.
Maharashtra Government is planning to revamp the Jeevan Amrut Yojana (blood-on-call) scheme to make it more beneficial to people. State government is seeking to strengthen the network of blood storage units in rural areas instead of current mechanism of transporting blood through motorcycles. It is first of its kind scheme in the country, launched in 2014. It aimed at facilitating blood supply to patients scheduled to undergo surgeries and medical procedures in remote areas.
Adani Enterprises Ltd on 9 February signed a pact with the Rajasthan government to develop the country’s largest solar park in the state with 10,000 MW capacity over the next 10 years at an estimated investment of about Rs 40,000 crore. The company will set up solar power project of 5000 MW on its own in the next five years. The Adani Group will also develop solar manufacturing units and power evacuation systems.
The Election Commission of India (ECI) on 10 February declared the results of Delhi Legislative Assembly Elections 2015. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) headed by social activist turned politician Arvind Kejriwal with 67 seats has emerged as the largest party in the house of 70 seats. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) – Won record 67 seats with record vote share of 54.2% percent. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) – Won 3 seats with vote share of 32.3% percent. 2015 Delhi Legislative Assembly elections were held on 7 February 2015 to elect 70 members of the Sixth Delhi Legislative Assembly.
Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on 11 February launched the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network System (CCTNS) project in the state. This 19 crore rupees project will be completely funded by the Union Government. It will help in connecting 177 sites and 114 police stations in the state besides 13 district headquarters, 26 sub-divisional police officers and three police ranges along with state crime records bureau.
The 15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit was held from 5-7 February 2015 in New Delhi.The theme of the summit was Sustainable Development Goals and Dealing with Climate Change.The summit was organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The summit witnessed a pool of distinguished speakers from a wide spectrum of backgrounds. Politicians, Diplomats, Corporates, Government Officials, media, NGOs and activists attended the summit.During the summit, two reports namely, Global Sustainable Development Report and Energy Security Outlook were also launched.Issues like the need for mitigation in Energy supply sector, generating finances for projects focusing on Sustainable Development, and educating the youth about sustainable development were discussed. Stress was laid on collective actions of both public and private sectors in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Eminent Marathi writer Bhalchandra Nemade on 6 February was chosen for the Jnanpith Award 2014 by the Jnanpith Selection Board. He is the 4th Marathi writer to receive the honour and is the 50th recipient of Jnanpith award.His novel Kosala (Cocoon) published in 1963 was not only instrumental in changing the dimensions of the Marathi novel, but also the world of Marathi fiction was transformed with its advent.
The 57th Annual Grammy Awards were held on 8 February at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California. In all, 83 Grammy Awards were presented at the function.
* Two Indians — Ricky Kej and Neela Vaswani — took home a Grammy Award each. Neela Vasvani won the trophy in the Best Children’s Album category for “I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up For Education And Changed The World (Malala Yousafzai)”. She had narrated the audio version of the book. On the other hand Ricky Kej’s collaboration in the album “Winds Of Samsara” won the Best New Age Album trophy. He had teamed up with South African musician Wouter Kellerman for the album, which symbolises peace and harmony.
* Beck Hansen’s album “Morning Phase” won the Best Album of the Year Award while the song “Stay With Me” featuring James Napier, William Phillips & Sam Smith won Best Song of the Year Award and Best Record of the Year Award.
Economist and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen has won the newly instituted Charleston-EFG John Maynard Keynes Prize 2015 on 10 February.With this, Professor Sen will receive 7500 British pounds to commission a work of art and will give the annual Charleston-EFG Keynes Lecture at the Charleston Festival in the United Kingdom. This year’s lecture is scheduled for 23 May 2015 and it will be on The Economic Consequences of Austerity.
The 87th Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was held on 23 February at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.The Academy Awards (commonly referred as Oscars) were presented in twenty four categories. They are :-
* Best Actor – Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything).
* Best Actress – Julianne Moore (Still Alice).
* Best Supporting Actor – J. K. Simmons (Whiplash).
* Best Supporting Actress – Patricia Arquette (Boyhood).
* Best Director – Alejandro G. Iñárritu for Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
* Best Original Screenplay – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
* Best Adapted Screenplay – The Imitation Game.
* Best Original Song – Glory (Selma).
* Best Original Score – The Grand Budapest Hotel.
* Best Production Design - The Grand Budapest Hotel.
* Best Editing – Whiplash.
* Best Cinematography – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).
* Best Sound Editing – American Sniper.
* Best Sound Mixing – Whiplash.
* Best Foreign Language Film – Ida (Poland).
* Best Documentary Feature – CitizenFour.
* Best Documentary Short Subject – Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1.
* Best Live Action Short Film – The Phone Call.
* Best Visual Effects – Interstellar.
* Best Animated Feature Film – Big Hero 6.
* Best Animated Short Film – Feast.
* Best Makeup and Hairstyling – The Grand Budapest Hotel.
* Best Costume Design – The Grand Budapest Hotel.
* Most awards – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (Both received 4 awards).
* Most nominations in 87th Academy Awards – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and The Grand Budapest Hotel (both 9 nominations)
The 35th National Games of India concluded on 14 February 2015 at Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala). In all the 35th National Games saw disbursal of 1334 medals comprising of 405 Gold, 406 Silver and 523 Bronze medals respectively. Services Sports Control Board emerged overall champion and winner of the Raja Bhalendra Singh Trophy for the third consecutive time. Services have won total 159 medals including 91 Gold Medals. It was followed by hosts Kerala with 54 golds and Haryana with 40 golds. Now the 36th edition of National Games would be held at Goa in 2017. The 2015 National Games of India, also known as the 35th National Games of India, were held in Kerala from 31 January 2015 to 14 February 2015.The mascot of the 35th National Games is”’Ammu”’, The Great Hornbill, or the Great Indian Hornbill, the State bird of Kerala.
Former India captain Anil Kumble and Australian legend Betty Wilson were inducted into the International Cricket Council Hall of Fame on 22 February at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, Australia. Kumble and Wilson became the 77th and 78th inductees into the Hall of Fame. Kumble is the fourth Indian to be included in the elite group other three includes Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Bishan Bedi. Wilson is the second Australian woman in the Hall of Fame behind Belinda Clark. Wilson was given the honour posthumously. Anil Kumble had played 132 Tests for India and captured 619 wickets. Wilson played 11 tests between 1947 and 1958 and scored 862 runs and claimed 68 wickets. Wilson passed away on 22 January 2010, aged 88
West Indies’ opener Chris Gayle made his name into history books by becoming the first ever batsman to score a double-century in the ICC World Cup. He achieved this feat against Zimbabwe in a Pool B clash in Canberra on 24 February 2015. Gayle hit Tendai Chatara for a boundary in the 46th over of the West Indies innings to reach the double-century mark in 138 balls. Assisted by this double-century, West Indies reached mammoth total of 372 for 2 wickets. Gayle surpassed the previous World Cup best of 188 not out by South Africa’s Gary Kirsten against the United Arab Emirates at Rawalpindi in 1996.
South Africa captain AB de Villiers has hit the fastest 150 in one-day internationals (ODI’s). He achieved this feat in 64 balls in World Cup Pool B match against West Indies held on 27 February at Sydney and also broke the previous record of Australia’s Shane Watson by 19 balls. AB De Villiers in the innings scored 162 runs from 66 balls and it comprised of 8 sixes and 17 fours. In this match, South Africa scored 408 runs which is the second-highest total in World Cup history.
The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has on 3 February announced sixth Bi-Monthly Monetary Policy Statement 2014-15. In its bi-monthly monetary policy statement, RBI has not changed its main lending rate i.e.Repo Rate and cash reserve ratio (CRR). But changed statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks.The RBI reduced the statutory liquidity ratio (SLR) of scheduled commercial banks by 50 basis points from 22.0% to 21.5% of their net demand and time liabilities.
The Industrial Credit and Investment Corporation of India (ICICI) Bank, has on 10 February launched India’s first digital Bank on mobile phones, Pockets. This service will enable users to instantly send money to any e-mail id, mobile number, friends on Facebook and bank account.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on 26 February 2015 presented the Railway Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha. In his first Railway Budget, Prabhu outlined a plan to invest over 8 lakh crore rupees over 5 years. The size of the Plan Budget has gone up by 52 percent from 65789 crore rupees in 2014-15 to 100011 crore rupees in 2015-16.
2015-16 Railway Budget at a Glance (Rs in crore) :-
* Gross Traffic Receipts – 1,83,578.00
* Total Work Expenditure – 1,62,210.00
* Net Railway Revenue – 25,076.45
* Total Passenger Earnings – 50,175.00
* Good Earnings – 1,21,423.00
* Divindend Payable To General Revenues – 10,810,74
* Operation Ratio – 88.5%
Station Redevelopment :- Zonal and Divisional offices to be empowered for quicker decision making Development of 10 Satellite Railway terminals in major cities with twin purpose of decongesting the city and providing service to suburban passengers
* Track capacity will be increased by 10% to 1.38 lakh km.
* 10 satellite railway terminals will be developed in major cities in 2015-15.
* Connectivity to North-East India will be improved. In J&K rail connectivity will be on focus.
* Railways will promote Gandhi circuit in order to mark centenary year of Mahatma Gandhi’s return from South Africa. Special travel scheme Kisan Yatra for farmers for farming and marketing technique centres. Under Incredible India, Incredible Rail will be launched.
Union Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley on 28 February 2015 presented Union Budget 2015-16 in the Lok Sabha. It was the first full year Budget of the NDA government under leadership of Prime Minister of Narendra Modi and the second budget of Arun Jaitley as Finance Minister.
2015-16 Budget Estimates (Rs in Crore )
* Revenue Receipts – 1,141.6
* Capital Receipts - 635.9
* Total Receipts – 1,777.5
* Non-Plan Expenditure – 1,312.2
* Plan Expenditure – 465.3
* Total Expenditure – 1,777.5
* Revenue Deficit – 394.5
* Effective Revenue Deficit – 283.9
* Fiscal Deficit – 555.6
* Primary Deficit – 99.5
* No change in the Tax slab on personal income.
* Wealth tax abolished.
* Additional 2% surcharge for the super-rich with income more than Rs. 1 crore.
* For next 4 years, corporate tax has been reduced to 25 percent from present 30 percent.
* Service tax increased to14 per cent.
* Apart from CSR, 100% tax exemption for contribution to Swachch Bharat Abhiyan.
* New projects 5 more AIIMSs in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar and Assam.
* IIT in Karnataka. While, the Indian School of Mines in Dhanbad, Jharkhand will be converted into IIT.
* 2 more IIMs in Jammu and Kashmir and Andhra Pradesh.
* Post-Graduation institutes of Horticulture in Amritsar, Punjab.
* University of Disability Studies will be established in Kerala.
* In Arunachal Pradesh, Centre of film production, animation and gaming will come up.
* For Infrastructure sector Rs. 70,000 crores allocated.
* Projects in rail road and irrigation bonds will be tax free.
* Infrastructure development through PPP model will be revitalised and government will bear majority of the
* Atal Innovation Mission will be established to draw on expertise of researchers and entrepreneurs to foster
scientific innovations. For this mission Rs. 150 crore allocated.
* 5 ultra-mega power projects each of 4000MW proposed by Government
* 2,46,726 crore allocated for Defence. It is 9.87 per cent greater than last year.
* Make in India campaign will take into consideration for speedy manufacturing of Defence equipment.
Welfare Schemes and new Programmes :-
* Under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, six crore toilets across the country will be built.
* By 2020, housing for all.
* Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA) will get MGNREGA of Rs. 5,000 crore. It is highest allocation to this scheme.
* To improve quality of life of common man, GST and JAM trinity (Jan Dhan Yojana, Aadhaar and Mobile) will be launched. To encourage first generation SC/ST entrepreneurs, MUDRA bank will provide finance.
* Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) will be further be expanded to 10.3 crore from 1 crore.
* Government will contribute 50% of the premium limited to Rs. 1,000 a year for the Atal Pension Yojana.
* 9,000 crore unclaimed funds in PPF/EPF will be used for Senior Citizens Fund.
* For all Indian, government will create universal social security system.
* For electric cars production Rs. 75 crore allocated.
* Renewable energy target for 2022 – 60K MW in wind; 10K MW in biomass, 100K MW in solar and 5K MW in small hydro plants.
* Under the new tourism scheme, development of churches and convents in old Goa; Hampi, Elephanta caves, , Jallianwala Bagh, Forests of Rajasthan, Leh palace, Varanasi Qutb Shahi tombs at Hyderabad.
* Visa on Arrival (VoA) facility to be increased for 150 countries from present 43 countries.
* As an alternative to purchasing gold, Sovereign Gold Bond will be launched.
* In order to facilitate depositors of gold to earn interest and jewellers to obtain loans on their metal accounts new scheme will be launched.
* Forward Markets Commission (FMC) will be merged with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). * Under SARFAESI Act 2002, NBFCs registered with the RBI having asset size of Rs 500 crore and above to be considered as financial institution for mid-corporate businesses and fund SME.
* For Rural Infrastructure Development Bank, Rs. 25,000 crore allocated.
* To support Micro Irrigation Programme, Rs. 5,300 crore allocated.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley presented the Economic Survey for 2014-15 in the Parliament on 27 February 2015.The Economic Survey forms the basis for the Union Budget for the fiscal year starting 1 April. This Economic Survey has been prepared by the Finance Ministry’s Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian.
Following are the important highlights of Economic Survey:-
Economic Growth :-
* Economic growth at market prices is expected between 8.1 to 8.5% during 2015-16 (based on the new GDP calculation formula)
* Growth rate in 2014-15 is estimated at 7.5%
* The total stock of stalled projects stands at Rs. 8.8 lakh crore or 7% of GDP and are mostly in private sector
Fiscal Deficit and Current Account Deficit :-
* Union Govt. will stick to fiscal deficit target of 4.1% of GDP in 2014-15
* Country needs to meet its medium-term fiscal deficit target of 3% of GDP
* Current Account Deficit (CAD) estimated to fall 1% of GDP in 2015-16
* Consumer inflation in 2015-16 likely to range between 5 to 5.5%
* Inflation likely to be below RBI’s target by 0.5 to 1% point
* Inflation shows declining trend in 2014-15
* Decline in inflation by over 6% points since late 2013
* Foodgrains production for 2014-15 estimated at 257.07 million tonnes
* The production will exceed last 5 years by 8.5 million tonnes
* Food subsidy at Rs. 1,07,823.75 crore during 2014-15 (up to January 2015), an increase of 20% over previous year
Pakistan on 2 February conducted a successful flight test of the indigenously developed Air Launched Cruise Missile (ALCM) named ‘Ra’ad’. The Ra’ad Missile, with a range of over 350 km, has been developed exclusively for launch from Aerial Platforms.This missile system has enabled Pakistan to achieve a greater strategic standoff capability on land and at sea.
Iran has launched its Fajr (Dawn) observation satellite on 2 February, using a Safir-2 rocket, its first launch since 2012 and declared that it has safely entered orbit. The launch marks the 35th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution and comes one day ahead of the country’s Space Technology Day.
Iranian nuclear power station Bushehr and the Indian Kudankulam Nuclear Power Plant topped the “Nuclear energy” category as the modern technologies they use produce cleaner and more effective sources of energy. The Russian-backed Iranian nuclear power station Bushehr and the Kudankulam Indian nuclear power plant projects were named projects of the year 2014 by the US Power Engineering magazine in the “Nuclear energy” category on 13 February 2015.
India on 14 February successfully test-fired its 290-km range BrahMos supersonic cruise missile from Indian Navy’s latest destroyer INS Kolkata. BrahMos is a missile with a range of 290 kilometers and can carry a conventional warhead of up to 300 kilograms. It has a top speed of Mach 2.8, which is three times faster than the US subsonic Tomahawk cruise missile. This speed makes BrahMos one of the fastest cruise missiles in the world. It can be launched from submarines, ships, aircraft and land. INS Kolkata the country’s largest indigenously built warship was commissioned in Indian Navy on 16 August 2014.
Prithvi-II surface-to-surface missile was test-fired on 19 February at Chandipur, Odisha. The test-fired was part of a regular training exercise of Strategic Force Command of Defence (SFC) and monitored by Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO). Prithvi-II was developed indigenously which is nuclear-capable and has a strike range of 350 km. It is capable of carrying 500 kg to 1000 kg of warheads.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal sworn in as 8th Chief Minister of Delhi on 14 February at a function in Ramlila Maidan, Delhi. Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung administered the oath of office and secrecy to Kejriwal. In 2015 Delhi Assembly elections, AAP staged a historic victory by sweeping 67 of the 70 seats. This will be Arvind Kejriwal‘s second term as Delhi Chief Minister. Earlier in February 2014, he had resigned after running a 49-day government with the support of Congress.
Senior Janata Dal United leader Nitish Kumar was sworn in as the 24th Chief Minister of Bihar on 22 February. He succeeded Jitan Ram Manjhi, who resigned from his office on 20 February 2015 before the trust vote wherein he was supposed to prove majority in the 243-member Bihar Legislative Assembly. With this, Nitish Kumar took oath as the state’s chief minister for the fourth time. In 2000, for first time he was made CM of Bihar but had resigned within 7 days. In 2005, he was sworn in as the CM of Bihar for second time and in 2010 for third time. In May 2014 he had resigned from the CM post taking the responsibility of his party’s (JDU) dismal performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
Dr Rajendra K Pachauri has stepped down as Chairperson of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with effect from 24 February. Pachauri is suspected to be involved in a sexual harassment case with a woman employee of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the environmental-think tank that he heads as its Director General.
Acclaimed sculptor Mrinalini Mukherjee was died on 2 February in New Delhi. She was 65. She was the daughter of acclaimed artists Benode Behari and Leela Mukherjee. She was best known for her sculptures crafted using knotted hemp ropes and cast bronzes. Mrinalini Mukherjee was the first Indian artist whose work was displayed at the Sydney Biennale in 1986. In 1994, her art sculptures were displayed in the Museum of Modern Art, Oxford and later she travelled all over United Kingdom.
Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam visited India from 8 – 11 February 2015. During his four day visit, Tony Tan Keng Yam met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.The two leaders held wide-ranging discussions on enhancing bilateral relations, as well as broadening cooperation in fighting terrorism, among other issues.In their talks, the two leaders deliberated on strengthening of cooperation on regional and international issues to raise the partnership to a higher level.They agreed on sharing of experiences in science and technology, space and other areas to enhance productivity and efficiency as well as broadening cooperation in fighting terrorism.
Indore MP and Loksabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan’s name was included in the LIMCA book of records in the month of February 2015. Her name was included for being the only woman of the country to represent the same Lok Sabha constituency on the same party ticket for eight times in a row. As a leader of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), she represents the Indore constituency of Lok Sabha in Madhya Pradesh. For the first time she was elected to the Lok Sabha in 1989. Since then she has been re-elected to the Lok Sabha in 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2009 and finally to the 16th Lok Sabha on 18 May 2014.She was unanimously elected as Speaker of 16th Lok Sabha on 6 June 2014.
Kiran Bedi on 9 February 2015 released a comic book titled Kiran Bedi — Kaise Bani Top Cop at a thanksgiving event organised in her Vidhan Sabha constituency Krishna Nagar, Delhi. The book is penned down by her sisters, Reeta Peshawaria Menon and Anu Peshawaria.The 32-page comic book with Hindi text and illustrations narrates the story of the first woman IPS officer of the country.The comic talks about Bedi’s childhood life in Amritsar, how she met her husband Brij Bedi while playing tennis and how she became the first woman IPS officer on 16 July 1972.
The Reserve Bank of India on 3 February 2015 constituted a committee to evaluate applications received for the proposed small finance banks. The committee was headed by Usha Thorat, former Deputy Governor of RBI. The purpose of the small banks will be to provide a whole suite of basic banking products such as deposits and supply of credit, but in a limited area of operation. The objective for these Small Banks is to increase financial inclusion by provision of savings vehicles to under-served and unserved sections of the population, supply of credit to small farmers, micro and small industries, and other unorganised sector entities through high technology-low cost operations.
The International Mother Language Day 2015 was celebrated all over the world on February 21, 2015. The objective of this day is to promote linguistic and cultural goodwill among diversity. It aims to fosters unity among various nations. As it promotes the preservation and protection of all languages used by people all over the world.The year 2015 is the 15th anniversary of International Mother Language Day. International Mother Language Day was proclaimed by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in November 1999. The day, February 21, represents the date in 1952 when students from Bangladesh demonstrating for recognition of their language, Bangla, as one of the two national languages of the then Pakistan, were shot and killed by police in Dhaka, the capital of what is now Bangladesh.
World Cancer Day (WCD) 2015 was observed across the world on 4 February 2015.The tagline for the WCD 2015 was Not beyond Us. The tagline signified that solutions do exist across the continuum of cancer, and that they are within our reach.The WCD 2015 explored how we can implement what we already know in the areas of prevention, early detection, treatment and care so as to impact the global cancer burden for the better.