12 Nov, 2013
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1) Who is poised to become the first woman to head the US Federal Reserve, which is the central bank of the United States? – Janet Yellen (Yellen was nominated to head US Federal Reserve by President Barack Obama on 9 October, 2013. Yellen has been the deputy Chairman of Federal Reserve since 2010. She will succeed Ben S. Bernanke, whose term expires on 31 January, 2014)
2) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) during October, 2013 constituted a committee to examine the feasibility of encrypted SMS-based fund transfers so as to boost mobile banking in the country. Who will head this committee? – B. Sambamurthy, Director, Institute for Development and Research in Banking Technology (IDRBT) – The committee will study challenges faced by banks in mobile banking. It will consider the advantages/ challenges of having a single application across all handsets in an SMS-encrypted environment. The committee will also look at any other solution to expand the reach of mobile banking and accordingly, draw a roadmap to implement those solutions)
3) The Union Government on 7 October, 2013 cleared the elevation of Arundhati Bhattacharya as the new Chairperson of SBI. Consequently she became the first woman to head SBI, which is India’s largest commercial bank of India. Bhattacharya became the ……… head of SBI – 24th (She succeeded Pratip Chaudhuri, who retired on 30 September, 2013. Her tenure will be of around two and a half years)
4) Which corporate company on 14 October, 2013 became the first Indian corporate to achieve sales of more than Rs 1,00,000 crore in a quarter? – Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) – RIL’s turnover or sales soared 14.2% to Rs 1,06,523 crore during the second quarter (July-September) of 2013-14. Company’s net profit for the quarter stood at Rs. Rs 5,490 crore, up 1.5% from Rs. 5,409 crore a year earlier)
5) Three American economists – Eugene Fama, Lars Peter Hansen (both with the University of Chicago) and Robert Shiller (Yale University) won the 2013 Nobel Prize for Economics. This announcement was made by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on 14 October, 2013. What was the area of research of these three economists for which they were selected for this prestigious award? – For developing new methods to study trends in asset markets (Fama, Hansen and Shiller had laid the foundation of the current understanding of asset prices. The economics award is not a Nobel Prize in the same sense as the medicine, chemistry, physics, literature and peace prizes, which were created by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1895. Sweden’s central bank added the economics prize in 1968 as a memorial to Nobel)
6) The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 7 October, 2013 eased more money into the system to help banks offer affordable lending options to retail customers. For this, which two steps were taken by the RBI :
- Marginal Standing Facility (MSF) was brought down to 9% by cutting it down by 50 basis points from 9.5% (MSF is the rate at which banks borrow funds overnight from RBI against approved government securities)
- Banks were allowed to borrow money from RBI for one-week and two-weeks (This new offer of extended period loans is also expected to further ease liquidity in the system)
(These measures came in the wake of a gradual stability in the rupee and point towards a seemingly combined effort by both the central bank and the government to pep up demand during the festive season of 2013)
7) What is the name of a new class of investors, which was announced by Indian capital market regulator SEBI during October, 2013 and which would encompass all FIIs (Foreign Institutional Investors), their sub-accounts and Qualified Foreign Investors (QFIs)? – Foreign Portfolio Investor (FPIs) – With the announcement of FPI, a new regime for overseas investments in Indian capital markets was ushered. The KYC (Know Your Client) requirements and other registration procedures would be much simpler for FPIs compared to current practices. The SEBI also decided to grant them a permanent registration, as against the current practice of granting approvals for one year or five years to the overseas entities seeking to invest in Indian markets. The SEBI board approved the new Sebi (Foreign Portfolio Investors) Regulations, 2013 to bring about these wide-ranging changes)
8) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during September 2013 gave his approval for setting up of a new Central Pay Commission which is expected to give its recommendations in about two years. This will be …………Central Pay Commission – 7th (The recommendations of the 7th Central Pay Commission are likely to be implemented with effect from 1 January, 2016. The recommendations of the Sixth Central Pay Commission were implemented from 1 January, 2006. The recommendations of this Pay Commission will benefit about 50 lakh central government employees, including those in defence and railways, and about 30 lakh pensioners)
9) Which African country on 2 October, 2013 announced its decision to quit Commonwealth? – Gambia (Gambia is a Western African country and was a member of the Commonwealth since 1965, when it gained independence from Britain. The Gambian government did not give a reason for the decision to leave the Commonwealth. However, it comes amid a greater emphasis by Britain on human rights and increasing pressure to promote equality based on sexuality. Commonwealth is a group of over 50 countries made up largely of former British colonies. Gambia called Commonwealth a “neo-colonial institution” while announcing its withdrawal from this group headed by British monarch Queen Elizabeth)
10) The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013 as announced on 12 October, 2013. This award was given to the organization for its extensive efforts to rid the world of chemical arsenals. The 189-member OPCW has its headquarters in – The Hague, the Netherlands (OPCW was founded in 1997 to enforce the Chemical Weapons Convention, the first international treaty to outlaw an entire class of weapons. The OPCW has conducted more than 5,000 inspections in 86 countries. It says 100 percent of the declared chemical weapons stockpiles have been inventoried and verified)
The Swedish newspaper was recently asked it to delete the reference made by President Pranab Mukherjee to the Bofors scam in an interview to it, as a claim protested by the Indian Government on 27 May 2015. India has expressed disappointment over the disrespect shown to the President, the newspaper has defended its right to publish what was said during the interview.
Know, who is Vijay Kelkar and what is PPP !
Vijay Kelkar is a renowned economist and a former Finance Secretary. He was appointed head of newly constituted committee to give recommendations to recast the model of Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) model in India. India is one of the largest PPP market with over 900 projects. The Kelkar committee will review the PPP policy, suggest a better risk-sharing mechanism between private developers and the government after analysing such projects.
Know, who is Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar !
Yaduveer Krishnadatta Chamaraja Wadiyar was crowned as the new Maharaja of of Mysuru (Mysore) royal family. He is the 23-year old grandson of Princess Gayathri Devi, who was the eldest daughter of the last Maharaja of Mysore, Sri Jayachamarajendra Wadiyar. The coronation was held at Mysuru’s famous Amba Vilas Palace, which was decked up for the occasion.
Know about Sepp Blatter!
Swpp Blatter, was re-elected as FIFA president for a fifth term at the 65th Annual Congress of FIFA held at Zurich for four year term.
Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan stood against Blatter in this election. It is worth mentioning that FIFA is going through a major controversy regarding corruption in the organisation with two FIFA vice presidents and a recently elected FIFA executive committee member still in custody.