27 June 2016

Sujoy Bose appointed as first CEO of NIIF

The Union Government has appointed Sujoy Bose as the first Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF). His selection for the CEO of NIIF was recommended by a search-cum-selection committee under the chairmanship of Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das.

 About Sujoy Bose 

  • Prior to this appointment, he was the Director and Global Co-Head of Infrastructure and Natural Resources at International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector lending arm of the World Bank.
  •  He has rich experience at international level in the infrastructure sector, including experience in raising funds from international investors. 
  • He had worked at IFC for over 23 years where he had served as chief investment officer (CIO) and head of IFC African Latin American and Caribbean Fund at IFC Asset Management Company. 
  • About National Investment and Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) 
NIIF is India’s quasi sovereign wealth fund (SWF) formed to attract investment from both domestic and international sources for infrastructure development in the counry. 
It has been incorporated as a company under the Companies Act, 2013 and has been duly authorized to act as investment manager of the fund. 
The objective of NIIF is to maximize economic growth of the country mainly through infrastructure development in commercially viable projects (both greenfield and brownfield), including stalled projects. 
For the investment purpose, NIIF will solicit equity participation from strategic anchor partners. 
An initial budgetary allocation of 4000 crore rupees has also been made in 2016-17 Union Budget. However, Government will make further allocation when necessary.

Lionel Messi announces retirement from Argentinean Football team

Barcelona FC star Lionel Messi (29) has announced retirement from Argentinean Football team. However, he will continue to play his club football for FC Barcelona. He made this announcement after Argentina was defeated by Chile in the 2016 Copa America final in the penalty shootout by 4-2 score. He had missed the penalty in the final match. 

About Lionel Messi 

In his football career with Argentinean team, Lionel Messi had played four finals at different titles for his country. It includes 2014 World Cup final and three Copa America finals. 
He had made his senior international debut in 2005. He is Argentina’s all-time top scorer, with 55 goals from 113 match appearances.He plays at the forward position for Argentinean team and for the Spanish FC Barcelona.
He is the only footballer to win five FIFA Ballons d’Or, four of which he had won consecutively. He also the first football player to win three European Golden Shoes. 
With Barcelona, he had won eight La Liga titles and four Champions Leagues. But with Argentinean Football team, his only major international honour was gold in 2008 Olympic.

'India Couture Week' 2016 to begin on July 20

·        The four-day long 'India Couture Week' 2016 (ICW), hosted by the Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI), the country's apex fashion body, will begin on July 20.

·        “We have always offered the best of India through our eponymous events and the ICW... showcases couture ensembles, which are emblematic of our rich tradition and historical past,” said FDCI president Sunil Sethi

Russia, China approve business initiatives worth $50bn during Putin visit

·        "Fifty-eight various business initiatives with the total volume of investments being $50 billion, have been selected," Putin told journalists in the Chinese capital.

·        Twelve of the projects are already being implemented, he added.

·        An oil supply contract, under which Russia could deliver up to 2.4 million ton of crude oil to ChemChina in a year's time, has also been agreed upon.

HDFC Bank CEO Aditya Puri’s salary hiked 32% to Rs9.73 crore in FY16

·   HDFC Bank gave a 32% salary hike to itsmanaging director and chief executive officer, AdityaPuri, during financial year 2015-16.

·      After the hike, Puri’s annual remuneration (salary) increased to Rs.9.73 crore during the year ended 31 March 2016, from Rs.7.4 crore a year ago.

·  HDFC Bank, during the last financial year, reported a net profit of Rs.12,296.2crore, up 20.4% from a year ago.

·    The ratio of remuneration of the managing director to that of the average employee is 179:1 during financial year 2015-16.

BHEL commissions two hydel units in Afghanistan

·  State-run Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd (BHEL) today said that it has commissioned two units of 14 MW each at Salma Hydro Electric Project in Afghanistan.

·      The Salma Dam or the Afghan-India Friendship Dam was inaugurated by the Prime Minister NarendraModi in presence of the Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, BHEL said in a statement.

Coca Cola to set up plant in Uttarakhand

·      An Uttarakhand government official said that Coca-Cola will set up a bottling plant in Sitarganj, on 70 acres of land provided by the government. The plant will be set up at an investment of Rs.400-500 crore, the official added.

·  In 2014, Coca-Cola scrapped their plans to establish a unit in the state's Chharbavillage on environmental grounds.

Gudni Johannesson wins Iceland’s presidential election

·   Gudni Johannesson, a history professor, has won Iceland’s presidential election in a vote held in the aftermath of the Panama Papers leak in April, which implicated several top Icelandic officials.

·      The political newcomer only decided to run for the presidency after the leak, and rode a wave of anti-establishment sentiment, emphasising his non-partisan, independent vision of the presidency.

·        Johannesson’s victory, won with 39.1% of the vote, came as he celebrated his 48th birthday on Sunday. HallaTomasdottir, a businesswoman without party affiliation, came second with 27.9%.

Srinivasan elected TNCA President for 15th time

·Former BCCI President and ICC Chairman N Srinivasan has been elected unopposed as the president of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association.

·  Srinivasan has been occupying the post since 2002, and this is the 15th consecutive time that he has been re-elected.

·      Srinivasan was removed as BCCI chief after the 2013 IPL spot-fixing scandal, with his son-in-law found guilty of betting

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar awarded Honorary Fellowship in UK

·      Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been bestowed with an Honorary Fellowship by an Indian students body in the United Kingdom (UK) for his contributions to world peace and culture.

·      National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) have awarded Sri Sri Ravi Shankar with an Honorary Fellowship.

26 June 2016

·International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking

The International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking is observed every year on June 26 to raise awareness of the major problem that illicit drugs. The day is also observed as an expression of United Nations’ (UN) determination to strengthen action and cooperation to achieve the goal of an international society free of drug abuse. 2016 theme: “Listen First”. The theme is an initiative to increase support for prevention of drug use that is based on science. It highlights the importance of effective investment in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities to fight problem of illicit drugs.

AIIB approves first loans for projects in four countries

The China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) has approved first set of loans totalling US 509 million dollars to finance projects in four countries viz. Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia and Tajikistan. 
These loans for the four projects were approved in Board of Directors meeting of AIIB held at its headquarters in Beijing, China. 

Projects approved 

Bangladesh: US 165 million dollars loan for a Power Distribution System Upgrade and Expansion Project.
 Indonesia: US 216.5 million dollars loan for a National Slum Upgrading Project. It is expected to be co-financed with the World Bank.
 Pakistan: US 100 million dollars loan for Shorkot-Khanewal Section of National Motorway M-4. It will be co-financed with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID). 
Tajikistan: US 27.5 million dollars loan for the Dushanbe-Uzbekistan Border Road Improvement Project. It will be co-financed with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

 These loans will have an interest rate of London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) plus 1.15 % and a repayment period of 25 years with 5 years in grace period. These projects spanning in the energy, transport and urban development sectors will help to bridge the region’s critical infrastructure financing gap. It will also help to strengthen regional connectivity.

India becomes 35th member of Missile Technology Control Regime

India became the 35th full member of the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR). It would be mutually beneficial in the furtherance of international non-proliferation objectives.

 In this regard, Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar signed the instrument of accession to MTCR in New Delhi. It marks India’s first entry into any multilateral export control regime. India’s accession to the regime was conveyed by the MTCR Point of Contact in Paris through the French Embassy in New Delhi as well as Embassies of The Netherlands and Luxembourg. India was able to successfully enter this multilateral export control regime with the unopposed support of all 34 MTCR Partners. Earlier in 2015, India’s bid for the membership to the group had failed after it was blocked by Italy.

MTCR was established by G-7 countries in 1987. The aim of the MTCR is to restrict the proliferation of missiles, unmanned air vehicles (UAVs), complete rocket systems and related technology for those systems capable of carrying a 500 kilogram payload for at least 300 kms, as well as systems intended for the delivery of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).

New Sonepat-Jind railway line to be dedicated to nation

        Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu will dedicate to the nation an 81-km long new railway line between Sonepat and Jind and will flag off a passenger train between these two stations from Chandigarh.
·        Other projects to be launched from Chandigarh included new Foot-over-Bridge at Platform No. 4 and 5 at Railway Station, Sonepat and inauguration of a mechanized laundry in Chandigarh.
·        The laundry would cater requirement of linen for entire Ambala division. The spokesman said that apart from this, foundation stone of Coaching-cum-Maintenance Facilities at Railway Station, Chheharta near Amritsar would also be laid.

Mehbooba Mufti wins Anantnag by-poll

        Jammu and Kashmir CM and Peoples Democratic Party President Mehbooba Mufti won the Anantnag by-poll, defeating Congress candidate Hilal Shah by over 12,000 votes.

·        The Congress had briefly halted the counting of votes in the morning, alleging discrepancies in several Electronic Voting Machines.
·        The Anantnag seat fell vacant after former CM Mufti Mohammad Sayeed expired in January.

Mizoram to launch two-wheeler taxi service

·        Mizoram will become the first hill state to launch a two-wheeler taxi service, which will start operating from July.

·        Around 200 to 250 motorcycles will operate on the roads in the state capital Aizawl with fares starting at ₹10.

·        The taxi service is aimed at controlling traffic in the city’s narrow roads while boosting employment amongst the youth.

US to lift ban on transgenders in military

·        According ersons serving in the military starting next month.
to Pentagon officials, the United States will lift the ban on openly transgender p

·        A study last year estimated that 15,000 transgender people served in the US military.

·        This comes five years after the US military ended its ban on gay and lesbian personnel serving openly.

Nokia appoints Sanjay Malik as India head

·        Nokia announced the appointment of Sanjay Malik, the current Head of Network Implementation at Nokia Global Services, as the new head of Indian market, effective August 1.

·        Malik will be replacing Sandeep Girotra, who was promoted to the head of Asia-Pacific and Japan market after serving as the head of Indian market for about five years.

'Bajirao Mastani' wins 9 technical IIFA awards

·        The Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh starrer 'Bajirao Mastani' won nine awards in the technical categories at the 'IIFA Rocks' event.

·        The film won in the Cinematography, Special Effects and Costume Designing categories among others.

·        Further, Kabir Khan and Parveez Shaikh won the award for 'Best Screenplay' for 'Bajrangi Bhaijaan' while 'Piku' won the 'Best Dialogue' award.

Euro Cup: Poland, Wales, Portugal enter into Quarter Final

·        In UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament, Poland defeated Switzerland 5-4 in a penalty shoot-out in the first round of 16 matches at Saint-Etienne to fix th
eir place for quarterfinals.

·        Poland will now play Portugal on Thursday for semifinal berth in Marseille.

·        In second match, Wales entered quarterfinals beating Northern Ireland 1-0. In another match, Portugal beat Croatia 1-0.

·        Meanwhile, the final of Copa America Centenario will be played between defending champions Chile and Argentina today at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherfod, New Jersey.

Colombia beat USA 1-0 to finish third in Copa America

·        Colombia defeated USA 1-0 in in the 2016 Copa America third-place match at the University of Phoenix Stadium, Arizona.

·        Carlos Bacca scored for Colombia from a headed pass by Santiago Arias in the 31st minute to score the only goal of the match.

·        Colombia's Arias and USA's Michael Orozco were sent off during stoppage time after an altercation.