Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Daily Updates - 26 November, 2014

Events of National & International Importance
LS passes amendment bill on appointment of CBI Chief
1.       The Lok Sabha today passed the Delhi Special Police Establishment (Amendment) Bill, 2014 by voice vote.
2.       As per the new provisions, CBI director will be selected by a panel which will comprise of Prime Minister, Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha or the leader of the Single largest party in the House and Chief Justice of India or any Supreme Court Judge.
3.       Earlier, there was no provision of the leader of the single largest party in the panel.

4.       The Bill also makes a provision that no appointment will be invalid merely because of vacancy or absence of a member of the panel. 
U.S concerns over Indian IPR regime
1.       At the first round in four years of joint trade talks, India and the United States agreed to explore the possibility of enhanced market access to identified agricultural products.
2.       At the talks, the U.S. raised concern over the level of protection India affords to its companies and the intellectual property rights (IPR) regime in India.
3.       U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) Michael Froman made a pitch for lower tariffs for import of off-patent drugs to India.
4.       He also pitches for access US companies to India’s public solar energy and health insurance programmes.
5.       They also raised the issue of whether the ‘Make in India’ policy would be one of encouraging globally competitive manufacturing or a less competitive industry behind a wall of protection.
6.       According to the joint India-US statement issued after the eighth ministerial-level meeting of the India-United States Trade Policy Forum (TPF).
7.       The two countries agreed to establish a new technical dialogue for cooperation on plant health, animal health, and food safety issues in a manner that facilitates movement of agricultural goods between the two countries.
Recent development at 18th SAARC summit
1.       PM pushes for a South Asian University, immediate medical visas for patients from SAARC countries
2.       India will now give business visa for 3-5 years for SAARC Countries.
3.       Agricultural growth has helped eradicate abject hunger and poverty.Bangladesh target being middle income country by 2021.
4.       This is the third time Nepal is organising the summit - first in 1987 and then again in 2002.
5.       Ahead of the summit, three meetings at foreign ministers’, foreign secretaries’ and joint secretaries’ levels decided to scrap three SAARC regional centres and merge four others into one.
Sulawesi bird named after Indian-origin scientist
1.       A new bird species discovered more than 15 years after it was first seen on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has been named after late ecologist and ornithologist Navjot Sodhi.
2.       A mottled throat and short wings distinguish Muscicapa sodhii, the newly named Sulawesi streaked flycatcher.
3.       Despite being a globally important avian hotspot, Sulawesi has largely gone unstudied by ornithologists.
4.       The Latin name the team gave the bird pays homage to the late Mr. Sodhi, who was Mr. Harris’ former mentor and professor at the National University of Singapore.
Boxer Manoj Kumar finally receives Arjuna Award
1.       Boxer Manoj Kumar today received the prestigious Arjuna Award from Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
2.       The 2010 Commonwealth Games gold-medalist, was bestowed with the honour in a function organised in the National capital. 
3.       Manoj was earlier denied the award by the Kapil Dev-led selection committee

     Environment & Ecology
Rs. 800-crore plan to save flamingo habitat
1.       Amid concerns by environmentalists and bird lovers, the Maharashtra government will spend around Rs 800 crore to minimise the damage caused to Sewri mudflats in Central Mumbai.
2.       These are better known for housing flamingos during their annual migration in Mumbai.
3.       Every winter, flamingos fly to the Sewri-Mahul mudflats, filled with chemicals and sewage, in search of food.
4.       The long-pending Mumbai Trans Harbour Link (MTHL) project, which involved in building a 22-km bridge from Sewri to Nhava in Navi Mumbai, is posing a threat to the birds’ habitat.
5.       The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) has been demanding shifting of its starting point in Sewri to 500 meters south to minimise the destruction of mudflats.

       Economic Development
Modi proposes Saarc business traveller card
1.       Prime Minister Narendra Modi proposed a Saarc business traveller card for making it easier for traders and merchants in the region to travel and access one another’s markets.
2.       Intra-regional relations become stronger as connectivity is increased and people-to-people contacts encouraged.
3.       Those coming to India for medical treatment, India will provide immediate medical visa for the patient and an attendant.
RBI tightens screws on foreign fund raising
1.       Tightening screws on foreign fund raising, the Reserve Bank has banned domestic firms from raising such funds above the permitted levels and from extending guarantees for them to meet domestic funding needs.
2.       The RBI in a notification also made it clear that those not following the norms will face penal action under the Foreign Exchange Management Act -FEMA.
3.       Forex funds are cheaper than the rupee funds and it was noticed by the apex bank that in recent years.
4.       Some Indian companies have been tapping up forex debt market to repay rupee loans or to meet other capex needs.
5.       As per official data, India Inc's foreign borrowing soared 44 per cent to 2.78 billion US Dollar in October.
6.       Of this only 69.43 million US dollar came through approval route and the rest 2.71 billion US dollar through automatic route.

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