Hello and welcome to ExamPundit. Here are the Important Current Affairs of 31st May, 2015.
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SBI expects GDP growth spike to 7.9% in FY'15-16
- State Bank of India expects the country's GDP growth to increase to 7.9 per cent this fiscal even as the recent growth numbers "disappointed".
- Also, a 25 basis point cut in repo rate on June 2 now looks a certainty and may be a surprise if it does not happen, Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India Group, said in a note issued after the CSO released GDP numbers on Friday.
- The Central Statistics Office (CSO) on Friday said that Indian economy grew 7.3 per cent in 2014-15 and 7.5 per cent in fourth quarter.
- The recent growth numbers are disappointing given the significant decline in 'gross value added' in fourth quarter of 2014-15 (at 6.1 per cent from 7.8 per cent projection and a secular decline from 8.4 per cent in Q2 FY'14-15), according to Ghosh.
- Interestingly, this difference was not as striking in earlier quarters.
RIL Becomes Nation's Most Profitable Firm, Replaces ONGC
- Reliance Industries has overtaken state-owned Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC) to become the nation's most profitable company, posting a consolidated net profit of Rs 23,566 crore in the 2014-15 fiscal.
- ONGC, which posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 18,334 crore in 2014-15, slipped to number three, behind RIL and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd, India's largest IT firm, according to earning data of listed firms available on the BSE.
- The state-owned firm had for long held the pole position as India's most profitable firm. It remained on top till 2013-14 when it posted a consolidated net profit of Rs 26,506.53 crore. That year RIL had a net profit of Rs 22,493 crore.
- TCS posted a net profit of Rs 19,852 crore in the fiscal ending March 31, 2015 to become the second most profitable firm in the country. Another Tata Group firm, Tata Motors too figured on the list of top 10 profit-making firms.
- State Bank of India, the nation's largest lender, with a net profit of Rs 16,994 crore was fourth on the list, followed by Tata Motors with Rs 13,986 crore net profit in 2014-15.
- Coal India Ltd, the world's largest coal producer, came a close sixth with a net profit of Rs 13,727 crore, followed by Infosys (Rs 12,329 crore), ICICI Bank (Rs 12,247 crore), HDFC Bank (Rs 10,689 crore) and ITC (Rs 9,663 crore).
India hikes US govt securities holdings to nearly $107 bn
- Continuing to increase its exposure to US government securities, India’s holdings rose to $107.7 billion at the end of March this year.
- The holding level is at a new one-year high after it had crossed the $100 billion mark in February.
- Latest data from the US Treasury Department shows that India purchased additional securities worth $6 billion in March, taking its total exposure to $107.7 billion.
- India’s exposure of American government securities has been on an upward trajectory since the Modi government came to power in May last year. In May 2014, the holding stood at $70.1 billion.
- At the end of March this year, China was the biggest holder with securities worth $1.261 trillion, followed by Japan that had an exposure of $1.227 trillion.
- Among the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, China) grouping, India is the third largest holder of US government securities.
Govt to launch website to help trace missing children
- With 11 children disappearing every hour in the country, the government will on June 2 roll out a web platform for people to directly report, track and upload information on missing children.
- The first-of-its-kind web portal will be launched by the Women and Child Development Ministry. It will serve as a platform for people to not only report a missing child but also track the efforts towards his or her recovery.
- The website, www.khoyapaya.gov.in, will answer all queries as to what action is to be taken when a child goes missing.
- A joint initiative of the WCD Ministry and the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, the website will have three sections, ‘My child is missing’, ‘I have sighted a child’ and ‘Search a missing child’.
- The website will also provide links to court orders wherein police have been mandated to register an FIR in the matter of a child gone missing and treat it as either abduction or trafficking unless it is proved otherwise in the investigation.
India to Buy Only 36 Rafales From France Instead Of 126
- India has decided to buy only 36 Rafale fighter jets scrapping the earlier plan to acquire 126 of the French aircraft on grounds of huge cost.
- Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar termed as "economically unviable" the previous UPA government's 20 billion USD deal for purchase of the 126 Rafale fighter planes more than three years after France's Dassault Aviation was declared the lowest bidder.
- During his visit to France last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the decision to buy 36 of the Rafale jets in a fly-away condition under a government-to-government (G2G) contract.
Web-based universal ID cards for disabled from Dec
- Come December, the Government will roll out for persons with disabilities universal identity cards having a unique number with which their details can be accessed by the click of a button.
- The initiative will help in a big way in ensuring the authenticity of disability certificates and eliminate hassle of having to carry the certificates for different purposes, as various details, including the type of disabilities would be made available online.
- The department functioning under the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment has decided to issue web-based cards instead of smart cards, proposed initially.
- One of the big advantages of these ID cards is that migrant persons with disabilities need not have to travel to their home states for certain authorisations, as details would be available online, officials said.
- The ID cards would further resolve problems of alleged duplicate and fraudulent disability certificates that are being issued, causing issues in the delivery of benefits.
- Details including personal, bank, disability certificate, employment, education and income status of every person with disabilities would be incorporated for issuing the ID card, they said.
First facial recognition ATM developed in China
- Chinese researchers have successfully developed the first automated teller machine (ATM) with facial recognition technology to reduce the risk of theft, media reports said.
- The developers include Tsinghua University and Tzekwan Technology, a Hangzhou firm in eastern China’s Zhejiang province that provides security protection for financial transactions, South China Morning Post quoted Chinese official media as saying.
- Tzekwan chairman Gu Zikun, an anti-counterfeit technology expert, believes the technology will curb ATM-related crimes.
- China currently relied mostly on imported ATM technology, the report said, but the new machine, which combines high-speed banknote handling, improved counterfeit-bill recognition and facial recognition, was wholly Chinese.
- The new ATM’s are expected to connect with the country’s banks and public security networks, which guarantees that only cardholders withdraw money, even if someone else knows the password.
- But opponents to the technology have taken their concerns about privacy and accuracy online.
Awards & Honors –
Indian-Origin Businessman Honoured in Singapore
- An Indian-origin entrepreneur is among four persons conferred national honour in Singapore for their "instrumental roles" in the continued growth of the country's business landscape.
- Gautam Banerjee, who is senior managing director at Blackstone and co-chairman of its Asia operating committee, as well as chairman of Blackstone Singapore, was awarded the 'Public Service Medal' by President Tony Tan Keng Yam.
- Dominic Barton, Global Managing Director for McKinsey and Company, and Michael R Splinter, Applied Materials Chairman, were awarded the 'Public Service Star (Distinguished Friends of Singapore) award', Channel News Asia reported.
- The Public Service Medal was also awarded to Paul Graham, Global Chief Operating Officer and CEO for Mainland Europe, Middle East and Africa for DHL Supply Chain.
- Economic Development Board (EDB) chairman Beh Swan Gin said in a statement that all four award recipients have played "instrumental roles" in the continued growth of Singapore's business landscape.
Mohun Bagan wins I-league 2014-15
- Mohun Bagan have won their maiden I-League title, courtesy of their 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC in their final game of the 2014-15 season at the Kanteerva Stadium, Bangalore on Sunday evening.
- It is the fourth national title for Bagan who won the last in 2002 when the tournament was named the National Football League.
- John Johnson opened the scoring in the 41st minute before Bello Rasaq scored the equaliser in the 86th minute to break the hearts of the assembled Bengaluru fans.
- Ashley Westwood chose to bench Sunil Chhetri and hand a chance to Udanta Singh to be a part of their three pronged attack alongside Sean Rooney and Robin Singh.
- Ralte kept Bengaluru in the tie as he denied Dhanachandra from a Yusa corner-kick. In the following flag-kick by Norde, Bello Rasaq headed home to score the elusive equalizer in the 86th minute.
- Bengaluru FC did string together a couple of attacks in the final minutes but Bagan held their fort together to earn a well deserved draw.
Shooter Gurpreet Singh Gets Quota Place for Rio Olympics
- Gurpreet Singh secured India a fifth quota place in shooting for the Rio Olympics by finishing fourth in the Men's 10m Air Pistol final at the ISSF Shooting World Cup in Munich today.
- Gurpreet scored 154 in the final, finishing behind winner Joao Costa (201.4 points) of Portugal. Sun Yang (177.3) was third, securing a quota place for China, while Tomoyuki (200.4) Matsuda of Japan won the silver. Another quota place went to fifth placed Daemyung Lee (136) of South Korea.
- Ace shooter Jitu Rai surprisingly failed to make the final of the same event.
- The positive result for Gurpreet comes a day after the disappointment of missing a quota place in the Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol where a fourth place was not enough.
Four Indians Bag Gold in International Wrestling Tourney
- Four Indian grapplers, including Yogeshwar Dutt, struck gold at the International Wrestling tournament in Sassari City, Italy, after finishing on top in their respective weight categories in Men's Freestyle.
- Yogeshwar bagged the yellow metal in 65kg division, while Praveen Rana claimed the gold in 70kg category, according to the information received here.
- Amit Kumar and Narsingh Yadav also finished on the top of the podium in 57kg and 74kg categories, respectively.
- Other Indians in fray were Mausum Khatri (97kg) and Hitender (125kg).
- After World Wrestling Federation introduced variations in the weight categories at the end of year 2013, Yogeshwar chose to compete in 65kg category, climbing up from 60kg division, in which he won the bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics.
- Since jumping up the weight category, Yogeshwar has won gold in all four tournaments he has taken part so far.