GK Power Capsule – April 2014 (The Hindu Review)

1. Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan kept the repo rate unchanged in BiMonthly Monetary Policy on 1st April since retail inflation still remains 'sticky', but introduced steps to increase liquidity and contain volatility in the money market.
i. Bank Rate – 9 % (Unchanged)
ii. Cash Reserve Ratio – 4 % (Unchanged)
iii. Statutory Liquidity Ratio – 23 % (Unchanged)
iv. Repo Rate – 8 % (Unchanged)
v. Reverse Repo Rate – 7 % (Unchanged)
vi. Marginal Standing Rate – 9 % (Unchanged)

2. The 15th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards 2014 was held in Tampa Bay, US from 23 April to 26 April 2014.
i. Best Picture Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Bhaag Milkha Bhaag

ii. Best Direction Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
iii. Performance in a Leading Role (Male) Farhan Akhtar Bhaag Milkha Bhaag
iv. Performance in a Leading Role (Female) Deepika Padukone Chennai Express
v. Music Direction Mithoon, Ankit Tiwari, Jeet Ganguly Aashiqui 2
vi. Outstanding Contribution To International Cinema John Travolta
vii. Lifetime Achievement Shatrughan Sinha

3. The 61st National Film Awards for 2013 was announced in New Delhi on 16 April 2014 by the Directorate of Film Festivals.
i. Ship of Theseus directed by Anand Gandhi was selected as the Best feature film.
ii. Best Actor – Raj Kumar for Shahid in hindi and Suraj Venjaramoodu for Perariyathavar in Malyalam
iii. Best Actress – Geetanjali Thapa for Liar’s Dance in Hindi
iv. Best Direction – Hansal Mehta for film Shahid

4. Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram has been designated as new Finance Secretary. Previous Finance secretary was Sumit Bose.

5. Justice Rajendra Mal Lodha was appointed as 41st Chief Justice of India. He will succeed Justice P.Sathasivam.

6. Justice G Rohini was appointed as the Next Chief Justice of Delhi High Court.

7. Ratan Tata was appointed as a member of the Board of Boao Forum for Asia (BFA). The post is a rare distinction for an Indian in the Chinese governmentbacked influential body.

8. Viktor Orban was reelected as Prime Minister of Hungary for the second consecutive fouryear term.

9. Rajeev Suri appointed as President and CEO of Nokia Corporation.

10. MarieLousie Coleiro Preca was swornin as thePresident of Malta.

11. R Gandhi was appointed as the Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India for a period of three years. He replaced Anand Sinha.

12. D K Pathak was appointed as the new Director General of the Border Security Force.

13. Karim Massimov, the Chief of Staff of Kazakhstan was named as the new Prime Minister of the country by the President, Nursultan Nazarbayev.

14. President Francois Hollande appointed Interior Minister Manuel Valls as next prime minister of France.

15. NR Narayana Murthy was honoured with the 2014 Canada India Foundation Chachalani Global Indian Award in Toronto, Canada.

16. Environmental activist Ramesh Agrawal won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for the year 2014.

17. Hollywood star John Travolta received the Most Popular All Time International Star in India at the International Indian Film Academy. The 15th IIFA awards were held in Tampa Bay, Florida from 23 to 26 April 2014.

18. Vijay Seshadri won the prestigious 2014 Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category.

19. Ratan Tata received the Knight Grand Cross award by UK Government.

20. Union Government announced that legendary poet and film lyricist Gulzar was selected for the 45th Dadasaheb Phalke Award 2013.

21. BritishAmerican physicist Stuart Parkin won Millennium Technology Prize 2014.

22. Indian American novelist, Jhumpa Lahiri’s Lowland has been shortlisted for the 2014 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction.

23. Koyal Rana won the 51st edition of the Femina Miss India 2014 crown.

24. MS Dhoni won the United Kingdom’s 2014 Asian Award for outstanding achievement in Sports.

25. Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd received the Most Efficient Navratna Award for the year 2013.

26. Renowned music director Zubin Mehta won the special jury award of Times Now NRI Awards 2014.

27. George Clooney stepped down from his role as UN’s Messenger of Peace amid the reports of his engagement with the human rights lawyer, Amal Alamuddin.

28. Union Ministry of External Affairs appointed Suresh Kumar Reddy as India's first Ambassador to the separate Indian Mission to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) & East Asia Summit.

29. IndianAmerican professor Rajendra Singh was named as one of ten Solar Champions of Change by the White House.

30. IndianAmerican hotelier Sant Singh Chatwal pleaded guilty at a US court for violating federal election laws by using straw donors.

31. President Barack Obama nominated Sunil Sabharwal as the next US Alternate Executive Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

32. Election Commission confirmed Amir Khan as its national icon for the Lok Sabha elections 2014. The other four national icons were A P J Abdul Kalam, M S Dhoni, Saina Nehwal and Mary Kom.

33. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate in literature died.

34. Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Anja Niedringhaus shot dead by a policeman in Afghanistan.

35. Prime Minister of South Korea Chung Hongwon resigned. He resigned over the government’s inability and untimely response to the ferry disaster that happened on 16 April 2014.

36. Nancy Powell, the US Ambassador to India announced her resignation.

37. Earthquake of magnitude 8.3 on Richter Scale struck Solomon Islands on 13 April 2014.

38. The Supreme Court reconstituted a Special Investigation Team to monitor the probe into the black money case. Court appointed retired judge MB Shah as its Chairman and retired Judge Arijit Pasayat as the Vice Chairman.

39. Hindustan Aeronautics Limited handed over a Dornier Nabhrathna lightweight aircraft to DRDO.

40. The Supreme Court constituted a threemember committee headed by N R Madhava Menon to frame guidelines to prevent misuse of public funds by the government and its authorities by providing advertisements in newspapers and television.

41. South Korean ferry carrying 459 passengers and crew drowned on 16 April 2014. The ferry ran into trouble some 20 kilometres off the island of Byungpoong.

42. United States and India launched a reading initiative named READ (ReadEngageAchieveDream) Alliance. This initiative has been launched with an aim to improve the reading skills of millions of primary schoolaged children in India.

43. Publisher Simon & Shuster announced that they will release a book named Hard Choices authored by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

44. A memoir entitled "Crusader or Conspirator? Coalgate and other Truths" authored by former Coal Secretary PC Parakh was released.

45. A memoir entitled the 'The Accidental Prime Minister: the making and unmaking of Manmohan Singh' authored by Sanjaya Baru was released.

46. India dropped to 78 in the latest Freedom of the Press freedom index. Sweden topped the list.

47. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report titled Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability in Yokohama, Japan. The report warns that due to global warming, poorer Nations may see fall in their GDP by 2%.

48. India successfully test fired indigenously developed surfacetoair Akash missile from at Chandipur Wheelers island Odisha.

49. India testfired an exoatmospheric interceptor missile, called Prithvi Defense Vehicle with capability to neutralise any longrange missile at higher altitude. This interceptor was testfired for the first time from Integrated Test Range at Wheeler Island, about 100 km from Balasore in Odisha.

50. Admiral Robin K Dhowan took over as the 22nd Chief of Indian Navy. He is a successor of Admiral DK Joshi, who resigned taking moral responsibility of the accident on INS Sindhuratna in Mumbai.

51. Stockholm International Peace Research Institute released a report. World military expenditure declined by 1.9 percent in real terms, since 2012. The release ranked India at the ninth position in the list of top spenders in 2013 compared to 8th rank in 2012. As per the report the three highest spenders with substantial increases are China, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

52. INS Vikrant, the decommissioned aircraft carrier of the Indian Navy has been sold for 60 crore rupees to a company named IB Commercial Pvt Ltd.

53. India and Nepal started a joint military exercise named ExSurya Kiran Drills VI at Saljhandi in Rupandehi district of Nepal.

54. India threatened to drag the European Union to the World Trade Organization if the 28nation bloc did not lift its ban on the import of Indian mangoes and vegetables.

55. Petroleum minister M Veerappa Moily has made it clear that once the Election Commission lifts its model code of conduct on May 12, its order for the deferment of a new gas pricing regime based on the Rangarajan formula will cease to exist and a price hike would come into effect.

56. Government said foreign investors will pay only 5 per cent withholding tax on interest earned from such investments till May 2015.

57. The Supreme Court lifted the nearly oneandahalfyear ban on iron ore mining in Goa.

58. The United States named China and India among countries on its blacklist of countries failing to properly protect US copyrights and patents but kept their status unchanged from the previous review.

59. India is now the world's third largest economy in terms of purchasing power parity, ahead of Japan and behind the US and China. This was revealed by the 2011 round of the World Bank's International Comparison Program (ICP) released.

60. Centre revealed names of 18 persons in the Supreme Court who allegedly stashed black money with LST Bank in Liechtenstein and against whom prosecution have been launched by the Income Tax department.

61. Social Progress Index 2014 has put India at a dismal rank of 102. The study measures a country’s achievement on three pillars of satisfying Basic Human Needs, Foundations of Wellbeing, and Opportunity to progress. Top three countries are New Zealand, Switzerland and Iceland.

62. Given even the first forecast of the met predicts a 60% chance of El Niño and a 23% chance of a deficit monsoon, the government is taking no chances and is finalising a comprehensive contingency plan for 500odd districts to deal with any exigency.

63. India slid down to 83rd spot among 148 economies in terms of leveraging information and communications technologies (ICT) for growth and well being, says a World Economic Forum report.

64. The railways will launch semihighspeed trains that will run at an average speed of 130 km per hour. To start with, these trains are expected to become operational on three routes — DelhiChandigarh, DelhiLucknow and DelhiBhopal — by the end of this year.

65. Andhra Pradesh has recorded highest growth in terms of both milk production and percapita milk availability at over 41 per cent and about 36 per cent, respectively.

66. International Monetary Fund expects country's economic growth to move up to 5.5 per cent in the current fiscal and 6.25 per cent in the next fiscal.

67. Finance ministers and central bank governors of the Group of 20 Nations reiterated their commitment to boost global growth by 2 per cent, or over USD 2 trillion, over the next five years and achieve exchange rate flexibility. G20 said in a communique issued on the sidelines of the annual spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington.

68. Having received USD 70 billion in 2013, India has topped the list of countries receiving remittances from overseas workers, the World Bank said.

69. Gold and silver imports declined 40 per cent to USD 33.46 billion in 201314 mainly due to restrictions imposed by the government. Imports of gold and silver in 201213 stood at USD 55.79 billion.

70. Foreign direct investment (FDI) in the services sector declined by about 61 per cent yearonyear to USD 1.8 billion during AprilJanuary.

71. Maharashtra has emerged as the number one investment destination in India replacing Gujarat.

72. India's GDP is poised to accelerate to 5.5 per cent in 201415 on the back of improved performance in industry and services but it may take some time for the country to reach its potential growth rate, says an Asian Development Bank (ADB) report.

73. In a bid to prevent bank failures in the future, a highpowered panel has proposed the setting up of a Financial Resolution Authority (FRA) to deal with any exigency in a financial institution and even allow "temporary public ownership" of troubled banks. The committee under Financial Stability and Development Council, chaired by RBI deputy governor Anand Sinha, said the experience and expertise of Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation (DICGC) could be transformed into the proposed FRA to deal with failures of banks.

74. Communications satellite INSAT3E has completed its life and gone out of service.

75. Reserve Bank's plan to put in circulation Rs 10 plastic currency notes on trial basis will be delayed as the initial bids have failed to qualify the technical criteria and the whole process will start again. The selected cities are Kochi, Mysore, Jaipur, Shimla and Bhubaneswar.

76. The Foreign Investment Promotion Board deferred a decision on HDFC Bank's proposal to increase its overseas shareholding limit to 67% from 49%.

77. Government is planning to make additional infusion of up to Rs 7,000 crore in the public sector banks during the current fiscal. In the interim budget, the government provided Rs 11,200 for the public sector banks.

78. Qatarbased Doha Bank has entered into an agreement with HSBC Bank Oman to purchase the latter's banking business in India.

79. Stepping up pressure on public sector banks (PSBs) to bring down bad loans, the finance ministry has widened its monitoring of nonperforming assets (NPA) from ‘top 30’ NPA accounts to ‘top 50’ for all stateowned lenders.

80. After launching accounts on Facebook and Youtube, SBI took one more step by launching a twitter account.

81. IDFC Ltd and Bandhan Financial Services Pvt Ltd won banking licences, with the Raghuram Rajan's RBI approving permits for only two of the 25 applicants.

82. Reserve Bank asked banks not to levy penal charges on customers who don't maintain a minimum balance in basic savings bank accounts.

83. A recent and most modern acquisition of the Indian Air Force from the United States, the C130J Super Hercules military transport aircraft, crashed near Gwalior.

84. Fiji’s military rulers set September 17 as the date for the South Pacific nation’s first democratic elections in nearly eight years following a military coup.

85. India’s total external debt stock stood at $426 billion as on December 31, 2013, or 5.2 per cent higher than that on March 31, 2013. The external debt to GDP ratio has marginally worsened to 23.3 per cent from 21.8 per cent.

86. Ajay S. Shriram has been elected President of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) for 201415. He succeeds S. Gopalakrishnan.

87. President Pranab Mukherjee cleared the re-promulgation of the SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) Ordinance. The move to arm the regulator with more stringent powers against the proliferation of chit fund and the Rs.2,000crore Sardhaa chit fund scam.

88. The UN’s International Court of Justice (ICJ) asked Japan to stop its whaling program in the Antarctic. Japan catches about 1,000 whales each year in the region for what it calls scientific research.

89. The Centre will provide an assistance of Rs. 352 crore to farmers for replanting horticulture crops that were hit by untimely rain and hailstorm earlier this month in parts of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka and Rajasthan.

90. RBI Governor, Raghuram Rajan said that the centralbank had adopted the new Consumer Price Index as the key measure of inflation instead of Wholesale Price Index.

91. NATO decided to freeze bilateral cooperation, while the European Union promised to help Ukraine reduce its energy dependence on Russia.

92. The RBIappointed Urjit Patel panel, in its report, has set CPI target of 8 per cent by 2015 and 6 per cent by 2016.

93. The National Association of Software and Services Companies (Nasscom) appointed Executive ViceChairman of Cognizant India R. Chandrasekaran as its Chairman for 201415.

94. Social media site Facebook has crossed 100million active users in India, its largest base outside the US.

93. Axis Bank, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary, announced the launch of ‘Asha Home Loan’, a 30year home loan product for first time home buyers in the lower income segment, seeking affordable EMIs.

94. India marched towards establishing its own navigation system when its Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLVC24) put into precise orbit the country’s second navigation satellite, the Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS1B). IRNSS1B will form part of a constellation of the seven navigation satellites. It was the 25th success in a row for the PSLV, after it majestically lifted off from the first launch pad at Sriharikota.

95. Doha Bank will be opening its first branch in Mumbai next month.

96. India was the third most affected country in 2013 by the notorious Zeus malwareattack that is used to steal sensitive data from industries like finance.

97. Mukesh Ambaniled Reliance Jio Infocomm has signed an agreement with younger brother Anil Ambani Controlled Reliance Communications (RCom) for sharing the latter’s extensive intracity optic fiber infrastructure.

98. Sabotage is one of the six possible reasons for the sinking of kiloclass submarine INS Sindhurakshak in August 2013 according to the committee report chaired by Commodore Deepak Bisht.

99. India’s Mars Orbiter completed half the distance of its epic voyage to the red planet. On 10 April, the spacecraft sailed past 34 crore kilometres of its 68crorekm curved path. On November 5, 2013, the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLVC25) put the Mars Orbiter into its earthorbit. ISRO has been continuously monitoring the spacecraft using its deep space network station at Byalalu, near Bangalore.

100. State Bank of India has hit the overseas bond market with a dual tranche benchmark issue of 5 year and 10year maturity to raise up to $1 billion.

101. India has decided to send the naval stealth frigate INS Shivalik to participate in an international fleet review and maritime exercise hosted by the Chinese Navy on April 23. China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Navy is hosting the review and exercise in the northeastern port of Qingdao, the headquarters of its North Sea fleet, as it prepares to mark its 65th anniversary with great fanfare.

102. Gunmen attacked Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh alMutlak’s convoy in the Abu Ghraib area of Baghdad.

103. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority (IRDA) imposed a fine of Rs.1.77 crore on Reliance Life Insurance for violation of various norms.

104. U.S. regulators have warned Facebook and WhatsApp to uphold the data privacy of their users, following the announcement of their $19 billion merger.

105. Libya’s interim Prime Minister Abdullah alThani stepped down.

106. In a groundbreaking trial, researchers in the UK will test artificial blood made from human stem cells in patients for the first time.

107. Supreme Court recognised the transgender community as a third gender along with male and female.

108. Indiaborn poet Vijay Seshadri has won 2014 Pulitzer Prize in the poetry category for his collection of poems “3 Sections.”

109. State Bank of India launched three digital banking facilities at the customer’s door step using TAB banking; one for customers opening Savings Bank accounts and another for Housing Loan applicants. The third is eKYC (Know your Customer).

110. The Mt Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo is headed for liquidation after a court rejected its bankruptcy protection application.

111. The Supreme Court made it clear that private companies that share revenue from natural resources such as spectrum with the government would be subjected to audit by the Comptroller and Auditor General.

112. Russia, the United States, the European Union and Ukraine have agreed on a plan to resolve the crisis in Ukraine through a constitutional reform that would grant more powers to Russian speaking regions. After talks in Geneva, the Foreign Ministers of the four nations signed a joint statement on de-escalation of the Ukraine crisis.

113. India’s foreign exchange reserves jumped to $309.444 billion in the week ended April 11 on the back of a healthy rise in currency assets.

114. China has for the first time released details of its recently announced “maritime Silk Road” plan, announcing that the Indian Ocean focused initiative will prioritise building ports and improving infrastructure in littoral countries like Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.

115. Syria will hold presidential elections on June 3, despite a civil war.

116. For the first time, senior Indian Army officers interacted with the Chinese General responsible for troop operations on implementing the Border Defense Cooperation Agreement (BDCA).

117. Pakistan conducted a successful training launch of the short range surface to surface ballistic missile Hatf III (Ghaznavi), which can carry nuclear and conventional warheads to a range of 290 km.

118. Reserve Bank of India has suggested that banks introduce two stage authentications to ensure security of transactions. The banks have been mandated to issue EMV (card with chip and pin) to certain category of customers and for the others, banks have been given option to either issue EMV cards or adopt Aadhaar biometric authentication as additional factor of authentication.

119. Promoters of National Power Exchange have decided to wind up the company. National Power Exchange is jointly promoted by NTPC, PFC and NHPC and private sector Tata Consultancy Services.

120. India and Bhutan signed an agreement for the development of joint hydropower projects in a bid to further strengthen their bilateral strategic partnership.

121. Air passengers can now use portable electronic devices such as mobiles, laptops and tablets in all phases of flight, the Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

122. WhatsApp now has 500 million regular, active users around the world. Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced in February that his social network was acquiring WhatsApp for $19 billion.

123. Siddharth, a Hindi film by Indian Canadian director Richie Mehta, was the winner at the Beijing film festival.

124. The small Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands is taking on the United States and the world’s eight other nuclear armed nations. The island group that was used for dozens of U.S. nuclear tests after World War II was filing a suit against each of the nine countries in the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands.

125. The much publicised Inflation Indexed Bonds (IIBs) failed to attract investor interest, either retail or institutional, in the last financial year. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is now planning to launch again this product in a restructured form.

126. Japan and the United States have announced joint support for the U.N. Women’s Safe City Programme in Delhi. The announcement was made during U.S. President Obama’s visit to Tokyo.

127. The Philippines and the United States announced they would sign an agreement to allow a greater U.S. military presence on Filipino soil for the next decade.

CLICK HERE to Download PDF file of Current Affairs April 2014

  • CLICK HERE for the Current Affairs of March 2014
  • CLICK HERE for the Current Affairs of February 2014
  • CLICK HERE for the Current Affairs of January 2014