Current Affairs September 2014 ( Last Weak)

Unit 5 of RAPS became second longest running nuclear reactor of World

Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station on 6 September 2014 became the second longest running reactor in the world.

The Unit 5 of the Rajasthan Atomic Power Station (RAPS) is a 220 MW Pressurised Heavy Water Reactor (PHWR). The power station is in uninterrupted operation from 2 August 2012 and it has been operating at full power with a capacity factor of 105 per cent.

The unit 5 has been in operation for 765 days continuously. It has since then generated around 4258 million units of electricity.

World’s first

Unit 7 of Canada's Pickering nuclear plant holds the world record of running the largest operating plant that ran continuously for 894 days.

There are only 10 reactors in the world that have crossed 500 days of uninterrupted operation.

About the plant

The plant was commissioned in February 2010. It has been running at the capacity of 98.5 per cent and until now generated 8663 million units of electricity.

RAPS Unit 1 was commissioned in August 1965 with a gross capacity of 100 MW.

RAPS have 6 units of which five are in operation.

Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott visited India


Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott visited India from 4 to 5 September 2014. Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Abbott held talks on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues. During the visit of Prime Minister of Australia to India, four Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) were signed. The following are

• Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
• MOU on cooperation in Sport
• Renewal of MOU on cooperation in the field of Water Resources Management
• MoU on Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

Cooperation in the Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy
MoU will promote cooperation in the field peaceful uses of nuclear energy. It recognizes India’s commitment and use of nuclear energy with a view to achieving sustainable development and strengthening energy security. Australia can play the role of long-term reliable supplies of uranium to India. It provides for supply of uranium, production of radio isotopes, nuclear safety and other areas of cooperation.

MoU on cooperation in Sport
MoU will promote exchange of programmes, experience, skills, techniques and knowledge in the field of Sports. It will facilitate exchanges of sports personnel, coaches and officials as well as of training and technologies. It will develop preparation for competitions and broad cooperation in sports.

Renewal of MoU on cooperation in the field of Water Resources Management
This will promote sharing of policy and technical experiences in the water resources, particularly river basin management. It will encourage familiarisation of best practices and technologies developed by each side and for exchange of information and training. A JWG will coordinate the activities.

MoU on Cooperation in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
Promotes exchange of information and policy ideas in TVET systems, joint implementation of collaborative projects and facilitating links between governments, industry organizations, TVET bodies. The focus will be to share experience and policy to build work force that is skilled and globally productive. The skills will promote broader cooperation including greater access to skilled labour across the region.

Bilateral Cooperation
• Both Countries Prime Ministers affirmed their commitment to strengthening the bilateral Strategic Partnership and moving towards a new level of mutual trust.
• They signed the bilateral Civil Nuclear Cooperation Agreement as a concrete symbol of the bilateral partnership.
• The Agreement will enable the sale of Australian uranium to support India’s growing energy needs and directed the negotiators to conclude the Administrative Arrangements at an early date.

Economic Engagement
• Both the countries are committed to expand trade further for mutual benefit and as a long term and sustainable boost to economic growth in India and Australia.
• They agreed to boost investment and collaboration in both directions in infrastructure, resources, agriculture, manufacturing, health, education and other sectors to increase efficiencies, introduce new technologies and develop innovation and skills.
• Both the countries, expected s a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) will support a significant expansion of two-way trade and investment. They renewed the commitment of both countries for an early conclusion of an equitable, balanced, comprehensive and high quality agreement.
• They agreed that economic engagement and business partnerships should be strengthened through a revitalized CEO Forum and encouraged regular exchange of business and trade missions and the convening of an India-Australia Business Summit in Delhi in early 2015.

Defence and Security Cooperation
• Both the countries agreed for the inaugural bilateral maritime exercise to be held in 2015. The initiatives under way to further strengthen defence cooperation, including closer engagement and cooperation in defence science and industry.
• Prime Minister Modi was invited to attend the commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of Gallipoli in 2015 by the Prime Minister of Australia, Abbott on behalf of the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand
• Both the countries committed to strengthening the defence and security partnership and enhance the cooperation in defence, counter-terrorism, cyber policy, transnational crime, disarmament and non-proliferation, humanitarian assistance, disaster management and peacekeeping.
• Both the countries called for deepening the framework of defence and security cooperation to guide the bilateral engagement in these and other priority areas.

Cooperation in Energy, Science, Water, Education and Skills
• Both the countries agreed an extension of the Australia-India Strategic Research Fund (AISRF) for a further period of four years.
• The AISRF helps Australian researchers to participate in leading edge scientific projects and workshops with Indian scientists. It supports the development of strategic alliances between Australian and Indian researchers.
• Prime Minister of Australia, Abbott launched the New Colombo Plan at the Mumbai University.

During his visit, Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott described India as an emerging democratic superpower and found the most of the abundant opportunities for business India. He launched the New Colombo Plan at a programme at the Mumbai University.

World Literacy Day was observed across the world on 8 August 2014. The theme of International Literacy Day 2014 is Literacy and Sustainable Development. The aim is to highlight the importance of literacy to individual, communities and societies. On this day, UNESCO reminds the international community of status of literacy and adult learning.

On this day, International Conference on Girls’ and women’s literacy and education: Foundations for sustainable development and the awarding of UNESCO Literacy Prizes was held in Dhaka with cooperation of Bangladesh.

About World Literacy Day
First World Literacy Day was celebrated on 8 September 1966 and it was proclaimed by UNESCO in 1965.

UNESCO observed the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012) which envisions Literacy for All. Throughout the Decade UNESCO takes actions to increase the absolute numbers of those who are literate. The Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE) is the main mechanism for reaching this objective.

Arab League agreed to join global coalition to counter IS militants

The 22-nation Arab League on 7 September 2014 agreed to join the global coalition to counter the threat of jihadist militants from the Islamic State Group. The decision was taken at an emergency meeting held in Cairo, Egypt. In the decision, the foreign ministers of the Arab League decided to block the funds of the militants as the first step.

The Arab League adopted the UN Security Council Resolution by chocking funds and stopping the flow of foreign fighters to the radical Islamic extremists. The UN resolution was passed in August 2014 and called on the member states to act to stem the flow of logistical, military and financial support to ISIS, the extremists in Iraq and Syria.

As per the decision, the League will cooperate with all international, regional and national efforts that are on or has been initiated to combat the militant groups. The league’s Secretary General, Nabil Al Arabi said that the rise of the jihadist militants is a challenge which has to be confronted on all fronts, militarily as well as financially.

But the League has yet not cleared that will they directly join the military action to confront the jihadists. The Arab League includes Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.

Harika Dronavalli won bronze in women Grand Prix chess

Harika Dronavalli on 6 September 2014 won bronze at the women Grand Prix chess at the Asian Games.

Chinese top seed Hou Yifan won the gold, while compatriot Zhao Xue got the silver.
Harika scored 6.5 points with five wins, three draws and one loss.
Grand Master Yifan won eight rounds and drew one to score 8.5 points. And Xue won seven matches, drew one and lost one to finish with 7.5 points. She is also a grand master.

Harika tied with Tuvshintugs Zhao Xue of China and Anna Ushenina of Ukraine on points but came ahead on account of her superior tie-break score.

Meanwhile, another Indian women's player Tania Sachdev could earn only 5.5 points with five wins, one draw and three losses, to finish on sixth position.

Union HRD Minister Smriti Irani Inaugurated KRITI Exhibition - 2014

KRITI Exhibition 2014: organised as part of International Literacy Day-2014 celebration

The Union Minister of Human Resource Development Smriti Irani on 6 September 2014 inaugurated KRITI Exhibition 2014. The exhibition was open for public from 6 September to 8 September 2014 at Dilli Haat in New Delhi.

The exhibition has been created and organised as a part of International Literacy Day 2014 celebrations that is observed annually on 8 September and its theme for 2014 is Literacy and Sustainable Development. Around 250 JSSs from different parts of India participated in the exhibition. Some of them also displayed the products made by their beneficiaries.



Massive 100 million year old ancient extinct volcano discovered beneath Pacific Ocean


A massive 100 million-year-old ancient extinct volcano was discovered beneath the Pacific Ocean.

Scientists discovered a new seamount near the Johnson Atoll in the Pacific Ocean during a seafloor mapping mission.

The mapping mission aimed at helping delineate the outer limits of the US continental shelf.

About the seamount

The yet-unnamed sea-mount, located about 300 kilometres southeast of the uninhabited Jarvis Island, lies in one of the least explored areas of the central Pacific Ocean.

The summit of the seamount rises 1100 meters from the 5100 metre-deep ocean floor.


Mr. Gardner and his team used multi-beam echo-sounder technology to create detailed images of the seafloor. The team was able to map the conical seamount in its entirety.

A seamount is typically formed from extinct volcanoes that rise abruptly and are usually found rising from the seafloor.

About multi-beam echo-sounder technology

Multibeam sonar sounding systems is also known as swathe. It was originated for military applications.

A multi-beam echo-sounder is a device typically used by hydrographic surveyors to determine the depth of water and the nature of the seabed.

The Sonar Array Sounding System (SASS) was developed in the early 1960s by the US Navy, in conjunction with General Instrument to map large swaths of the ocean floor to assist the underwater navigation of its submarine force.

In order to determine the transmit and receive angle of each beam, a multi-beam echo-sounder requires accurate measurement of the motion of the sonar relative to a cartesian coordinate system. The measured values are typically heave, pitch, roll, yaw, and heading.

To compensate for signal loss due to spreading and absorption a time-varied gain circuit is designed into the receiver.

For deep water systems a steerable transmit beam is required to compensate for pitch, this can also be accomplished with beam forming.

Ever since the BJP led NDA government came into power in May 2014, it has constantly shown its opposition to the FDI in multi-brand retail. This is despite the fact that the victory of BJP in recent elections was mainly based on bringing in the much needed reform in the Indian economy to boost the ailing industrial production and economic growth. This raises obvious question whether FDI in multi-brand is needed in Indian economy.

Present status of FDI in Retail
The Indian retail sector is highly fragmented with 97 per cent of its business being run by the unorganized retailers. The organized retail however is at a very nascent stage. The sector is the largest source of employment after agriculture, and has deep penetration into rural India generating more than 10 per cent of India’s GDP.

India being a signatory to World Trade Organization’s General Agreement on Trade in Services, which include wholesale and retailing services, it allowed FDI in cash and carry (wholesale) with 100 percent ownership under the Government approval route in 1997. It was brought under the automatic route in 2006. 51 per cent investment in a single brand retail outlet was also permitted in 2006.

In November 2011, the Cabinet approved 51 per cent FDI in multi-brand retail, a decision that will allow global mega chains like Wal-Mart, Tesco and Carrefour to open outlets in India. The Cabinet also increased the foreign investment (FDI) ceiling to 100 per cent from the present 51 per cent in single-brand retail.

Pros and Cons of FDI in Multi-brand Retail

The following are the main issues raised by those in favour of foreign equity in multi-brand retailing and those opposed to it:
Those against:
• It will lead to closure of tens of thousands of mom-and-pop shops across the country and endanger livelihood of 40 million people.
• It may bring down prices initially, but fuel inflation once multinational companies get a stronghold in the retail market.
• Farmers may be given remunerative prices initially, but eventually they will be at the mercy of big retailers.
• Small and medium enterprises will become victims of predatory pricing policies of multinational retailers.
• It will disintegrate established supply chains by encouraging monopolies of global retailers.

Those in favour:
• It will cut intermediaries between farmers and the retailers, thereby helping them get more money for their produce.
• It will help in bringing down prices at retail level and calm inflation.
• Big retail chains will invest in supply chains which will reduce wastage, estimated at 40 per cent in the case of fruits and vegetables.
• Small and medium enterprises will have a bigger market, along with better technology and branding.
• It will bring much-needed foreign investment into the country, along with technology and global best-practices.
• It will actually create employment than displace people engaged in small stores.
• It will induce better competition in the market, thus benefiting both producers and consumers.

It can be said that the advantages of allowing unrestrained FDI in the retail sector evidently outweigh the disadvantages attached to it and the same can be deduced from the examples of successful experiments in countries like Thailand and China where too the issue of allowing FDI in the retail sector was first met with incessant protests, but later turned out to be one of the most promising political and economic decisions of their governments and led not only to the commendable rise in the level of employment but also led to the enormous development of their country’s GDP.

FDI in multi-brand retailing and lifting the current cap of 51% on single brand retail would be a steady progression toward level of employment and economic development. One hopes that the government would stand up to its responsibility, because what is at stake is the stability of the vital pillars of the economy- retailing, agriculture, and manufacturing. In short, the socio economic equilibrium of the entire country is at stake.

Bhagat Singh’s last surviving sister Bibi Prakash Kaur died


Bibi Prakash Kaur, the last surviving real sister of martyr Bhagat Singh died on 28 September 2014 in Canada. She was 94.

She was paralysed and bed ridden since 2008. Coincidently, she passed away on the 107th birth anniversary of the martyr Bhagat Singh which falls on 28 September every year.


Bibi Prakash Kaur
• Bibi Prakash Kaur was born in 1921 and was only 12 years old when Bhagat Singh was hanged to death by British rulers on 23 March 1931.
• Prakash Kaur was settled in Canada since 1980 and was residing there with her elder son Rupinder Singh Malhi.
• She was known as Sumitra in her family.

Himachal Pradesh government introduced Cage Culture Technique for fish farming


Himachal Pradesh government in September 2014 introduced Cage Culture technique of fish farming in water bodies created by the Himachal Pradesh Mid-Himalayan Watershed Development Project.

The state government had introduced the cage culture scheme by constructing earthen run-off dam at Kudini (Kudini Dam) in gram panchayat Dabat, Watershed Development Division Naina Devi with an area of 1.43 hectare and pondage capacity of 4.28 hectare. The technique has been adopted after studying it in small reservoirs and ponds of Jharkhand, the state that is considered as a leading state in fish farming.


Introduction of the technique would help people in rural areas of the state among whom fish farming is a profitable livelihood activity and also makes them economically viable.

Cage Culture technique of fish farming
The Cage culture technique of fish farming is an Aquaculture Production System where fish are reared in floating net cages. These fish cages can be placed in dams, lakes, ponds and rivers with average depth of five meters to raise and protect the fingerlings until they are harvested. Fishes that are stocked in cages are fed with commercial feeds and harvested when they reach market size.

These cages are made up of nylon nets and the frame is made up of iron pipes joint together through welding with plastic drums as floaters.

Tamil Nadu CM Jayalalithaa held guilty in disproportionate assets case


J Jayalalithaa, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu on 27 September 2014 was found guilty in the disproportionate assets case by the Special Court in Bangalore. The Court pronounced a jail term of 4 years and fined 100 crore rupees to her.

The judgment of the 18-year-old 66.65 crore rupees disproportionate assets case against Jayalalitha was pronounced by the special court in Bangalore amid tight security.

Apart from Jayalalithaa, the court also accused three others in the case, namely Sasikala Natarajan, Ilavarasi and Jayalalithaa's disowned foster son V N Sudhakaran.

With this conviction, she became the first incumbent chief minister in India to be disqualified from holding office due to conviction in a disproportionate assets case.

SC judgement on tainted politicians
The Supreme Court on 10 July 2013 had held that chargesheeted Members of Parliament and MLAs, on conviction for offences, will be immediately disqualified from holding membership of the House without being given three months’ time for appeal, as was the case before.

A Bench of Justices A.K. Patnaik and S J Mukhopadhaya struck down Section 8 (4) of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 as unconstitutional. Section 8 (4) of the RPA, 1951 allowed convicted lawmakers a three-month period for filing appeal to the higher court and to get a stay of the conviction and sentence.

The Bench, however, made it clear that the ruling will be prospective and those who had already filed appeals in various High Courts or the Supreme Court against their convictions would be exempt from it.

Reason for constitution of the Bangalore’s Special Court
The disproportionate assets case against Jayalalithaa was transferred to Bangalore's Special Court in 2003 by the Supreme Court on a petition filed by DMK leader K Anbazhagan. The DMK leader expressed doubts over conduct of fair trial in Tamil Nadu as Jayalalithaa ruled the state then.

The Case
The disproportionate assets case was filed in 1996 by the then DMK government led by M. Karunanidhi. Also, the Senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy in 1996 also filed a petition against Jayalalithaa in the case.

The charge against her was that Jayalalithaa’s assets which was 3 crore rupees in 1991, grew to 66 crore rupees during her first tenure as chief minister from 1991 to 1996. Although, she announced that during her tenure she would take 1 rupee as her salary.

In the political career of Jayalalithaa, this was not the first time that she was convicted by a Court, earlier also in 2000, a trial court sentenced Jayalalithaa for three years and two years imprisonment in two cases. After which in 2001, she stepped down as the Chief Minister following a Supreme Court verdict that held that she cannot hold the office being convicted for criminal offences.


About J Jayalalithaa
• In 1980s, she was made the propaganda secretary of AIADMK by founder-leader M.G. Ramachandran
• She entered the Rajya Sabha in 1984
• In 1989, she was elected to the Tamil Nadu assembly for the first time after which she became the Chief Minister of the state in 1991
• She is the second female chief minister of Tamil Nadu after Janaki Ramachandran
• She is called Amma (Mother) and Puratchi Thalaivi (Revolutionary Leader) by her followers
• Before starting her political career, she acted in over 100 movies mostly in Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. She also acted in few Hindi and English films.
• She made her debut in a Kannada movie at the age of 16.
• Some of her films included Vennira Aadai (her first Tamil movie), Pattikada Pattanama, Aayirathil Oruvan (for which she won Filmfare Award for Best Actress in 1973) Sri Krishna Satya
• Her last film was the Nadhiyai Thedi Vandha Kadal (1980)
• She was born on 2 February 1948

Europe won 40th Ryder Cup in Gleneagles


Europe on 28 September 2014 won the 40th Ryder Cup in Gleneagles, Scotland. Europe defeated United States by 16½ points to 11½. The team captains were Paul McGinley for Europe and Tom Watson for the USA.

Europe took 10-6 lead over the United States into final day of Ryder Cup.

Europe has now won eight of the last 10 Ryder Cups. Europe was the defending cup holders, having defeated the USA in 2012 at Medinah.


The 40th Ryder Cup Matches were held from 26–28 September 2014 on the PGA Centenary Course at the Gleneagles Scotland.

This was the second time that Scotland hosted the Ryder Cup. First time, the competition was held at Muirfield in 1973.

World Heart Day observed globally on 29 September


Justice Handyala Dattu sworn-in as new CJI


Justice Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu was sworn-in as the 42nd Chief Justice of India on 28 September 2014. He was administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhawan. He succeeded Chief Justice RM Lodha who demitted office on 27 September 2014.

Dattu will have tenure of 14 months as the Chief Justice of India as he will retire from his office on 2 December 2015.


His name for the appointment for the office of the Chief Justice of India was cleared by President on 3 September 2014. Dattu will be the CJI with longest tenure in recent years, as the previous two CJIs namely Justice S Sathasivam and Justice RM Lodha retired from their office with a tenure of nine and five months respectively.

About Handyala Lakshminarayanaswamy Dattu

• HL Dattu is the head of the bench that monitored investigations into the 2G spectrum scam
• He joined Supreme Court of India as a Judge on 17 December 2008
• In 1975, he started his practice as an advocate in Bangalore, where he dealt with different types of cases that included civil, criminal, tax and Constitutional matters
• From 1983 to 1990, he appeared as government counsel in the Karnataka High court for the sales tax department
• He was designated as the senior standing counsel for Income Tax department in 1995 after which on 18 December 1995, he was elevated as a judge of the Karnataka high Court
• He has served as a Chief Justice of the Chhattisgarh High Court on 12 February 2007 and shortly afterwards Dattu was transferred to the Kerala High Court on 18 May 2007

Some major cases that will be heard by Justice Dattu during his tenure include pending review petition on the legality of Section 377 (the decriminalization of gay sex), adjudication of the fate of Delhi Assembly, Black money and others.

Hamas and Fatah agreed to allow Palestinian Authority Government in Gaza Strip

Hamas and Fatah on 25 September 2014 announced the deal to allow the Palestinian Authority (PA) government to operate in the Gaza Strip.

The deal allows the Palestinian Authority headed by Rami Hamdallah to immediately assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip and take control over the border crossings in the Gaza Strip, including the Rafah terminal.

Besides, it allows all Palestinian Authority civil servants to return to their jobs and salary will be paid by the PA government because they are all Palestinians. The PA has nearly 70000 civil servants who have not been working since Hamas seized control over the Gaza Strip.

A committee comprised of all Palestinian parties will be formed to implement the agreement and resolve any further problems.



The Fatah and Hamas signed a reconciliation agreement to end their difference and form a Palestinian Unity Government in Gaza Strip on 23 April 2014. Due to the reconciliation agreement between Fatah and Hamas, Israeli suspended the peace talks with the Palestinians.

Israel believed Hamas as terror organisation and announced a series of sanctioned against the Palestinian. The Palestinian unity government of 2014 was formed on 2 June 2014 under Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Union Heavy Industry Ministry proposed to shut down six sick CPSE to the Union Cabinet


Union Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises on 25 September 2014 proposed the Union Cabinet to shut down six sick Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSEs).

The sick CPSEs include HMT Watches, HMT Barings, HMT Chinar Watch, Hindustan Photo Films, Hindustan Cables and Tungbhadra Steel.


Besides, the Ministry also proposed to revive 5 CPSEs. These CPSEs include HMT Machine Tools, Heavy Engineering Corporation, NEPA, Nagaland Paper & Pulp Co; and Triveni Structurals.

The proposal of Heavy Industry Ministry is based on the recommendations of the Board for Reconstruction of Public Sector Enterprises (BRPSEs).

Ancient nomadic campsite belonging to Liao Dynasty unearthed in China


An ancient nomadic campsite was unearthed by Chinese archeologists in Qian’an county in north-east Jilin province of China on 24 September 2014. The unearthed campsite was supposed to be used by the nomadic emperors from the Liao Dynasty (907 AD – 1125 AD).


Though archaeologists did not disclose the overall size of the campsite, but it is believed to be the largest ever campsite found in China.

The head of the Jilin Provincial Bureau of Cultural Heritage Jin Xudong is planning to make this campsite appear in the World Heritage list.

Findings about the campsite

The campsite unearthed consists of four parts overall. The biggest part of three kilometers width is about one-third the size of the entire campsite. It contains as many as 900 bases for camping.

The ancient campsite served as an administrative centre during the reign of the nomadic Khitans, although their capital city was in Inner Mongolia in China.

Emperors of the Liao dynasty usually had four campsites where they lived during the four seasons. In spring and summer, they moved to the north while in autumn and winter they settled in the south.


In 2009, the ruins of the spring campsite were discovered and have undergone archaeological excavation in August 2014. Since then, archaeologists unearthed more than 100 cultural relics including tiles, pottery, porcelain, copper coins and Buddha statues.


The six companies together have around 3603 workers. The Ministry has planned to spend 1080 crore rupees towards one-time settlement through a voluntary retirement scheme for workers.

HMT Watches, which is a subsidiary of HMT Ltd, has already submitted a voluntary retirement/voluntary separation scheme to the Government for downsizing its manpower.

The Ministry also said that after the closures of these six CPSEs, the sale of assets of these state holdings will be made to private companies. Also, it informed that efforts were on to monetise vacant land available with 11 sick PSUs, which have an estimated 8000 acres.

Public Sector Banks require 26–37 billion US dollars to meet Basel-III norms: Moody


Global rating agency Moody on 22 September 2014 released a report titled Indian Banks Could Need 26-37 billion US dollar in External Capital for Basel III Compliance.

In the report it revealed that 11 Indian public sector banks (PSBs) need to raise 26 to 37 billion US dollar in external capital in the financial year 2015 in order to meet the Basel-III capital adequacy norms by financial year 2019.


This projection of Moody is based on the assumption that there is a moderate recovery in India's GDP growth, and a gradual decline in nonperforming loans from current levels.

Main highlights of the report
• In rupee terms these banks will require additional 1.5 to 2.2 trillion rupees to fully comply with the Basel-III norms.
• A significant part of the required capital, around 800 - 900 billion rupees (or 13-15 billion US dollars) could be in the form of Additional Tier 1 (AT1) capital.
• Moody's notes that these PSBs constitute 62 percent of the net loans in the Indian banking system but barely meet the current minimum capital requirements. As a result PSBs will find it difficult to raise capital quickly in the current environment.
• The report further said that weak asset quality has led to depressed profitability and internal capital generation in PSBs. As a result, they have to rely on periodic capital injections from the government.
• It noted that PSBs could find it difficult to raise the required amount even if they tap the equity markets because of low valuation of these banks. Even the recent stock rally may not prove to be the saviour.

Basel-III Norms
Basel III raises the minimum required capital levels for both Tier 1 capital to 7.0 percent and Common Equity Tier 1 (CET1) capital to 5.5 percent. Besides, the banks will also need to meet a Capital Conservation Buffer in order to pay dividends. These will be pressurizing the Indian public-sector banks due to low capital levels remain a key credit weakness.

SC struck down National Tax Tribunal Act, 2005 terming it unconstitutional


The Supreme Court of India on 25 September 2014 struck down the National Tax Tribunal (NTT) Act, 2005 terming it as unconstitutional.

The five-judge Constitution Bench of SC comprising Chief Justice of India R M Lodha and Justices J S Khehar, J Chelameswar, A K Sikri and Rohinton Nariman quashed Sections 5, 6, 7, 8 and 13 of the NTT Act rendering it ineffective for all practical purposes.

Since the provisions of sections 5, 6, 7, 8 and 13 of the NTT Act constitute the structure of whole Act and without these provisions the remaining provisions are rendered ineffective and inconsequential.

The bench ruled that these sections of the NTT Act by providing an appeal directly to the Supreme Court against an NTT order directly encroached upon the high courts’ power under Article 227 to decide substantial questions of law which would bind all tribunals.

Moreover, Justice Nariman wrote a separate but concurring judgment ruling that the law is unconstitutional on two grounds:
• Separation of powers between the judiciary and the executive
• Judicial superintendence.

However, SC bench did not quashed Article 323B of the Indian Constitution that talk about the creation of tribunals by the executive. Article 323B was challenged by the petitioners as being defiant of the concept of separation of powers between the executive and the judiciary.

Petition Challenging the NTT Act, 2005
Even before setting up of the tribunal, petitions were filed against the Act. First petition was filed in 2006 when the Madras Bar Association challenged the proposed tribunal.

The petitioner challenged the constitutional validity of the NTT Act and the Article 323B of the Indian Constitution. The contention was that Article 323B violates the basic structure of the constitution by allowing the legislature to take away jurisdiction of the High Courts and vesting them in Tribunals.

The petitioner also contended that the process of the selection of the appointees to the Tribunal must be done as in the case of the High Court Judges.

Effect of the Judgement

The National Tax Tribunal Law was meant for reducing the pile-up of tax demands locked up in litigation in high courts that currently amounts to over 4 trillion rupees.

But with this judgement, the government will have to look at new ways to reduce pending litigation on direct and indirect taxes. The committee constituted by the Central Board of Direct Taxes and government will work to ensure that an alternative dispute resolution process is legislated to increase the confidence of tax payers.

This ruling of Supreme Court can affect all such similar tribunals set up to decide substantial questions of law including the National Company Law Tribunal and Appellate Tribunal which are also facing legal challenge.

The National Tax Tribunal (NTT) Act, 2005
• The National Tax Tribunal Act was passed in 2005. The tribunal was set up under the Act to hear appeals against orders of Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) and Central Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT).
• The NTT was seen as an alternative to high courts where the tax department, unhappy with the decision of the appellate tribunal, could file an appeal.
• The decision of the NTT could only be challenged in the Supreme Court. The idea was to move tax cases away from the high court and speed up decision-making.
• The NTT Act allowed the executive to have extensive control with regard to appointments of members and procedure of the tribunal.

3rd Meeting of SAARC Culture Ministers adopted Delhi Resolution


The 3rd meeting of SAARC Ministers of Culture was held in New Delhi from 24 September 2014 to 25 September 2014. The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Minister of State for Culture Shripad Naik.

They adopted the Delhi Resolution as a roadmap for cultural relations in the SAARC region for the period 2014–17.

Delhi Resolution

• To declare 2016–17 as the SAARC Year of Cultural Heritage. For 2015–16, Bamiyan will be the SAARC cultural capital and the inauguration ceremony of Bamiyan as SAARC cultural capital will take place in April 2015.
• To formulate proposals for transnational nominations for the world heritage list and a regional list of heritage sites.
• To recognize the impact and contribution of maritime routes and the monsoon as also other inland relations
• To enhance interaction between member countries by redefining cultural linkages through transnational nominations
• To promote SAARC culture online by launching a dedicated SAARC website on culture, with emphasis on digitization of rare manuscripts, rare books and other articles of intangible cultural value.
• To strengthen cultural institutions in the SAARC region, promote cultural festivals showcasing themes that are unique to the region within SAARC member states, and enable meaningful exchange programmes for artists, performers, writers and scholars.
• To establish a SAARC Cultural Heritage Committee (SHC) and build cultural institutions, which, in turn, will bolster efforts in preservation, maintenance, as well as digital mapping of historic sites in member countries, and simultaneously develop inventories of cultural assets in museums and other repositories of the region and apply best practices and standards therein.

• To promote the literatures produced in the local languages of the regions, and make them available to readers across the world through translations, not only into English, but also through direct translation from one SAARC language to another, and also to provide financial support to writers to work on creative projects, collaborate with other writers and provide them increased exposure to other cultures.
• To accord the highest priority to the preservation of folklores and other oral traditions that embody local narratives and local cultures, both in order to facilitate a better understanding of our shared past in this age of global cultural memes, and to envision the cultural future of the region anew.
• To promote visual and performing arts from the SAARC region in other parts of the world to mirror the vast riches – both cultural and geographic – that adorn these lands, as part of a sustained campaign of cultural diplomacy to attract tourists to these places and stimulate SAARC tourism.
• To support, on mission-mode, the improvement of literacy of SAARC populaces, and further, promote a reading habit among the citizens by providing access to books and other reading materials through establishing libraries in remote places.

• To promote the urge and interest of the SAARC country visitors to archeologically important places and heritage sites by fixing a common rate for entrance therein.

The SAARC Culture Ministers agreed to meet in Bangladesh for the fourth Culture Ministers meeting.

Cricketers Sachin Tendulkar & Steve Waugh selected as 2014 Bradman Honouree



Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and Steve Waugh of Australia were selected as Bradman Honouree 2014. It was announced by The Bradman Foundation on 22 September 2014. They will be honoured at the Gala Dinner of the Bradman Foundation on 29 October 2014 in Sydney.

Sachin Tendulkar was selected for Bradman Honouree because he has scored more Test runs than any other cricketer in history and bestrode the international cricket stage for 24 years.

Tendulkar was identified by Sir Donald Bradman early in his career as the batsman whose technique most closely resembled to Sir Donald Bradman.

Steve Waugh was selected because he was the most successful captain of Australia and also embodies values of Bradman like courage, honour and determination.

About Bradman Honourees
The Bradman Foundation, a non profitable organisation was established in 1987 with the support of Sir Donald Bradman. It was established to promote cricket as a valuable cultural and sporting force within the community.

Every year two Bradman Honourees were selected for their significant contribution to international cricket as exemplified by Sir Donald Bradman. The Award is issued specifically with regard to how much the cricketer reflect Sir Donald’s expressed values including courage, honour, integrity, humility and determination.

MP to host Global Investors Summit to attract foreign investment


Government of Madhya Pradesh (MP) will host Global Investors Summit (GIS) 2014 in October at Indore to attract major investment in Madhya Pradesh. The summit is scheduled to be held from 8 October 2014 to 10 October 2014.

The theme of the Global Investors Summit 2014 is Invest Madhya Pradesh.


Highlights of the Global Investors Summit 2014
• The three-day summit will aim to showcase the strengths and industrial prowess of Madhya Pradesh and provide global platform for interaction with the Indian industry leaders, policy makers and other stakeholders.
• The focus sectors will be agri-business and food processing, automobile and engineering, healthcare, industrial infrastructure, pharmaceuticals, IT, renewable energy, textile and handloom, technical education and skill development, tourism and urban development.
• Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation is tasked with the duty to make special arrangements of recreational outings for domestic and foreign participants of the GIS.
• Australia, Mexico, Canada, Czech Republic, Republic of South Africa and Quebec will participate in the summit as partner countries.
• The ambassadors and high commissioners of Poland, Belgium, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Sweden, Mexico, Canada, Czech Republic, South Africa, Malaysia and Australia have also confirmed their participation.

Madhya Pradesh first organised the Global Investors Summit (GIS) in 2007 when it signed 102 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) worth 1.20 trillion rupees. Every summit is based on a particular theme and aimed at bringing together business leaders, investors, corporations, thought leaders, policy and opinion makers.

Last Global Investors Summit was held in 2012 which witnessed 15 Partner States, 1300 MSME Delegates, 850 MSMEs, 10 Sector Seminar as well as 2200 Delegates.

Specialty of Madhya Pradesh

• MP is rich in natural resources including fuels, mineral agriculture and biodiversity.
• It is the only diamond producing state in India.
• The state has the coalfield with Asia’s thickest coal seam of 135 meters as well as India’s largest opencast copper mine.
• Around 14 percent of the cement is produced in Madhya Pradesh.
• Madhya Pradesh has received three Krishi Karman award for three consecutive years 2012, 2013 and 2014.
• Madhya Pradesh has immense potential for wildlife tourism, adventure and eco-tourism.
• About 20,000 hectares of land is available for industrial development in Madhya Pradesh.

Alliance Air signed MoU with NE Council for flight operations


Alliance Air on 24 September 2014 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the North East Council for flight operations in the North East.

The MoU was signed in the presence of the Union Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju Pusapati and Minister of State for Development of North East Regions VK Singh.

Highlights of the MoU
• Alliance Air will provide air services to Shillong, Tezpur, Lilabari, Silchar and Guwahati with ATR 42 type of aircraft till 31 March 2016.
• North East Council will assist Alliance Air in obtaining concessions on Aviation Turbine Fuel, landing and Route Navigation Facility Charges.
• The actual cost of operations shall be reviewed every three months based on the proposed cost.

Alliance Air has been operating flights to the North East since January 2003 under Viability Gap Funding (VGF). VGF is a cost minus revenue formula which is used to cover losses on the operations in the North East.

Alliance Air provided its services in the North East Council till 31 December 2012 when it was operating 65 flights per week to the North East. In January 2013, due to outstanding VGF the airline restructured its ATR operations in the North East.

The NEC and Alliance Air had some issues with the fund and initially NEC refused to pay the outstanding bill stating that Alliance Air was operating flights after expiry of the agreement in December 2012. Subsequently, the agreement was put on hold and ATR services were discontinued on some routes since then.

In the meantime, Alliance Air continued its operations between Kolkata-Silchar, Kolkata-Guwahati and Silchar-Imphal with ATR aircraft. It also restored five times weekly flights on the Kolkata-Shillong route in july 2013.

Union Government declared September 25 as Antyodya diwas


25 September: Antyodya Diwas

Union Government declared 25 September as Antyodya Diwas. Antyodya diwas was observed to mark the 98th birth anniversary of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay was the noted philosopher, historian and political activist.

Several activities including blood donation camps, seminar, symposia were organised across the country.

About Pandeet Deendayal Upadhyay

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya (1916 – 1968) was an eminent political personality and a profound philosopher. He was an organizer par excellence and a prominent leader of Jan Sangh.


He established the publishing house Rashtra Dharma Prakashan in Lucknow and launched the monthly magazine Rashtra Dharma to propound the principles he held sacred.

Later he launched the weekly Panchjanya and the daily Swadesh.

In Hindi, Panditji wrote a drama Chandragupta Maurya, and later wrote a biography of Shankaracharya. He translated a Marathi biography of Dr.K.B. Hedgewar, the founder of RSS.


ISRO’s journey from Bullock Cart to Mars


On 24 September 2014 as the MOM entered the Martian orbit India created history. It became the first Asian nation and third country in the world after US and erstwhile Soviet Union (USSR) to achieve this feat. Besides ISRO became the fourth space agency after NASA, European Space Agency and Space Agency of erstwhile USSR.

More incredibly, the Scientists at ISRO achieved this feat in their first attempt and at a cost of 74 million US dollars as against other three countries many attempts and much higher cost.


The achievement was startling and a milestone for a space agency that was termed as primitive when it started its journey to space by carrying its satellite Ariane Passenger Payload Experiment (APPLE) on a bullock cart to the launch pad in 1981.


Since the launch of Aryabhatta-I on 19 April 1975 aboard Soviet Union’s Kosmos-3M launch vehicle ISRO has come a long way. The efforts of ISRO saw India evolved from a dependent nation for sending spacecraft to a self-reliant nation which not only sends its own satellites but also of other nations. So far, ISRO has launched 65 satellites or spacecrafts of which 30 were Indian and 35 were Foreign Satellites.

India not only is the sixth nation to have presence in space but also one of the regional leaders in remote sensing satellites. Its ever-dependable Polar Satellite Launch Vehicles (PSLV) has achieved global recognition as one of the most successful launch vehicles. PSLV has seen 25 consecutive success launches out of 26 launches.

Further, successful completion of Chandrayaan –I mission (launched in 2008) was a major landmark for ISRO. It made India one of the four countries to place its flag on the Earth’s natural satellite Moon.

With many more space missions in pipeline including development of IRNSS system, which is equivalent to US Global Positioning System (GPS) and Russia’s GLONASS, and sending manned spacecraft in future, ISRO’s journey from Bullock-cart to Mars is indeed a matter of pride for every Indian.

P.M. launched Make In India Campaign to make India a manufacturing hub


Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 25 September 2014 launched Make In India Campaign at Vigyan Bhawan in New Delhi to make India a manufacturing hub.

The campaign is aimed to attract foreign companies to set up their manufacturing units in India and to seek greater foreign investment.

The launch ceremony was attended by Top CEOs from India Inc, international industry leaders, ambassadors, ministers and government officials. Further, Special arrangements were made to publicise the event globally in different world capitals.

At the same time, programmes were held in state capitals and also Indian missions abroad, where officials engaged with investors and consultants.

P.M. Narendra Modi on his Independence Day speech announced the Make in India policy.

Objective of the campaign

The objective of the campaign is to get manufacturing sector to grow over 10% on a sustainable basis over a long run.


The campaign is aimed to transform the economy from the services-driven growth model to labour-intensive manufacturing-driven growth. This will help in creating jobs for over 10 million people, who join the workforce every year.

Focus of the campaign

The programme lays emphasis on 25 sectors with focus on job creation and skill enhancement.

These include: automobiles, chemicals, IT, pharmaceuticals, textiles, ports, aviation, leather, tourism and hospitality, wellness, railways, auto components, design manufacturing, renewable energy, mining, bio-technology, pharmaceuticals and electronics among others.

Union Government released separate brochures for these sectors along with a general brochure.

The brochures will provide details of growth drivers, investment opportunities, sector specific FDI and other policies and related agencies.

Features of the campaign

• The government will look into all regulatory processes to ease the burden of investors.

• A dedicated cell has been created to answer queries from business entities through a newly created web portal.

• While an exhaustive set of FAQs on this portal will help investors find instant answers to their general queries, the back-end support team of the cell would answer specific queries within 72 hours.

• The DIPP and industry lobby FICCI have jointly set up an eight-member expert panel to address queries and concerns of investors. They will clarify Indian policies to the investors and suggest reforms to the Central and states governments.

• All central government services are being integrated with an e-Biz single window online portal.

• States have been advised to introduce self-certification.

• The Union Ministry of Home Affairs has been asked to give all security clearances to investment proposals within 3 months.

• An advisory has been sent to all departments/state governments to simplify and rationalise regulatory environment which includes online filing of all returns in a unified form.


Through this campaign, the Union Government aims to clear the daunting image of complex rules and bureaucratic red tape of Indian administration. It will help the global investors to foster their investment decisions. This will help in realizing the aim of liberalized economy.


As per the World Bank’s ease of doing business index, India ranked lowly 134 out of 189 countries in 2014, which was three places lowest than in 2013.

Kuala Lumpur to host ICC World Cricket League Division 3


International Cricket Council (ICC) on 23 September 2014 announced that ICC World Cricket League (WCL) Division 3 will be held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The World Cricket League Division 3 will be held from 23 to 30 October 2014.


The ICC World Cricket League Division three 2014, forms part of the ICC World Cricket League and qualification for the World Cup 2019. Bermuda, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Uganda and the USA are the six teams competing in World Cricket League.

Uganda was supposed to host the six-team competition from 26 October 2 November 2014 due to security reasons the event has been shifted from Uganda to the Malaysia.

In 2013, World Cricket League Division 3 was held in Bermuda, UK. The six teams participated were Bermuda, Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore, Uganda and the USA are the six teams competing.

Make in India will act as a first reference point for guiding foreign investors on all aspects of regulatory and policy issues and assists them in obtaining regulatory clearances.

Union Government has already allowed 100 per cent Foreign Direct Investment under automatic route in construction, operation and maintenance in rail infrastructure projects and increased FDI in Defence to 49 per cent.

Marvan Atapattu appointed as head coach of Sri Lankan cricket team


Sri Lankan Cricket Board on 24 September 2014 appointed the former national cricket team captain Marvan Atapattu as the head coach of the national team with immediate effect.

Atapattu’s name was unanimously approved for the post by the executive committee of Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC). However, SLC doesn’t disclose the terms and tenure of his appointment.

With this appointment, Atapattu became Sri Lanka's first full-time local coach in 15 years. The last Sri Lankan full-time coach of the national team was Roy Dias in 1999.


Apart from this, Atapattu is the seventh coach to be appointed by Sri Lanka in past since 2010. The other six coaches were Trevor Bayliss, Stuart Law, Rumesh Ratnayake, Geoff Marsh, Graham Ford and Farbrace.

At the time of appointment, 43-year-old Atapattu was serving the Sri Lankan cricket team as the interim coach after resignation of Englishman Paul Farbrace in April 2014. Under Attapattu’s guidance, the Sri Lankan won a test series in England and test and one-day series at home against Pakistan.

On the other hand, Chief Selector Sanath Jayasuriya resigned from the committee selecting the coach without citing any reason.

Third Global Citizen Festival held in New York


Third Global Citizen Festival was held at the Central Park in New York on 27 September 2014. The annual festival is aimed at raising the consciousness of a generation to make change inevitable.

The festival was attended by world leaders like United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim. At the festival, the leaders raised their commitment on the issues of sustainable development, poverty and climate change.

The festival was featured by the artists
• Jay Z, an American rapper
• No Doubt, American rock band
• Carrie Underwood and Beyonce, they are American singers
• Fun, American indie pop band
• The Roots, American hip hop/neo soul band
• Tiesto, Dutch DJ

About Global Citizen
Global Citizen is an initiative of Global Poverty Project, an international education and advocacy organization of Australia working to catalyze the movement to end extreme poverty by 2030.

The Global Poverty Project creates campaigns with the purpose of increasing the number of people taking action to end extreme poverty, with the vision of a world without extreme poverty by 2030.

About Global Citizen Festival
Global citizen festival aims to secure new commitments to health, education, equality of women and global partnerships.
The festival is an incredible tool to promote activism through something people love – live musical entertainment which in turn, give world leaders a clear and compelling mandate to commit to end extreme poverty.


Tata motors Limited appointed Mayank Pareek as president of Passenger Vehicle Division



Tata Motors Limited on 29 September 2014 appointed Mayank Pareek as president of Passenger Vehicle Division.

Mayank Pareek will join the company on 1 October 2014. He succeeded Ranjit Yadav. Ranjit Yadav will now head the international business for passenger and commercial vehicles.

Also, Pareek will be part of the steering committee formed by the Cyprus Mistry to run the operations in the absence of a managing director. Cyprus Mistry is the CEO of Tata Motors.


Mayank Pareek is a former Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Maruti Suzuki India Limited. He quit the company on 26 September 2014.

He is entrusted with the task of reviving the fortunes of Tata Motor’s beleaguered car business. Tata motors is the largest vehicle maker of India.

Challenges Ahead

Pareek is joining Tata Motors at a time when the company has been ceding ground to rival car makers.

In the last five months to August 2013, Tata Motors’ passenger vehicle sales declined 33% to 58697 units from 88709 units a year ago. Its market share dropped to 5% from 9% a year ago in the same period.

Pareek would have to prove his capability in a very short span of time. The 20-year Maruti veteran is credited with making the company a household name across the India.

SC issued guidelines on fake encounters and called for mandatory registration of FIRs


Supreme Court of India on 23 September 2014 issued guidelines for police encounter in India and called for mandatory registration of FIRs in all cases of encounter deaths.

In its directive the Court said that in case encounter that leads to death, FIRs should be filed and magisterial probe under Section 176 of the Criminal Procedure Code should be carried out. These FIRs should be probed to bring to justice the perpetrators of the crime who take law in their hands.

The apex court expressed its concern that no guidelines are in place for encounter killings in the country. The Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice RM Lodha said that cases of death in police encounters continue to occur in spite of Constitutional provisions for safeguarding the personal liberty and life of a citizen. It is essential to restore the faith of people in the police force.

Apart from this, the Court also said that no out-of-turn promotion or instant gallantry rewards should be bestowed on the concerned officers soon after the occurrence of the incidents. It must be ensured at all costs that such rewards are given or recommended only when the gallantry of the concerned officers is established beyond doubt.


The Case
The Supreme Court issued the guidelines, while hearing a PIL filed by NGO named People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL). The NGO and the NHRC in their suggestion asked the court to set up a separate and independent probe agency under NHRC or the state human rights commission to probe all encounter killings.


Union MNRE announced the organisation of the first RE-INVEST Promotion Meet & Expo


The Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy ( MNRE) on 30 September 2014 announced the organisation of the first Renewable Energy Global Investors Meet & Expo (RE-INVEST). The meet is scheduled to be held on 15 February 2015 in New Delhi.

The central theme of the meet is to attract large scale investments in the renewable energy sector in India. The event, which is the follow-up to the Make in India initiative, is proposed to be inaugurated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

It will be the first major platform for investment promotion in the renewable energy sector at the level of Government of India.

Highlights of the RE-INVEST Promotion Meet & Expo
• RE-INVEST will be jointly organised by Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA), Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).
• Moreover, other leading industrial and sector specific Associations including ASSOCHAM and PHDCII will also be closely associated.
• RE-INVEST will enable the global investment community to connect with renewable energy stakeholders in India. Over 1000 delegates are expected to attend the Meet.
• The event is expected be attended by over 200 investors including domestic and international.
• RE-INVEST will be the culmination of a conference and exhibition of manufacturers, project developers, investors and other players in the renewable energy space to showcase manufacturing capabilities, latest technologies, financing options and investment opportunities.
• International companies in the renewable energy space from different countries will also have the opportunity to exhibit and showcase at the Expo to a wide Indian audience.

Renewable Energy Sector in India
Renewable Energy Sector is contributing about 6.5 percent in the electricity mix of the country. FDI up to 100 percent under the automatic route is permitted in Renewable Energy Sector.

Major initiatives by the Government including accelerated depreciation, generation based incentive, feed-in-tariff, viability gap funding is expected to add massive investments in the renewable energy sector.

Union Commerce Ministry cancelled approvals of nine SEZs

The Union Commerce Ministry on 29 September 2014 cancelled approvals of nine special economic zones (SEZs), including that of Hindalco Industries, Essar and Adani.

The decision was taken after it was found that no satisfactory progress was made to execute the projects since the grant of approvals to these SEZs.

The decision was taken in the meeting of the Board of Approval (BoA) headed by Union Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher. Further, the board asked the developers to refund the duty benefits availed by them.

The other developers whose SEZs were cancelled include Chennai Business Park, Integrated Warehousing Kandla Project Development and Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation.

As per SEZ rules 2005, formal approval is valid for a period of three years, by which time at least one unit has to commence production and the zone becomes operational from the date of commencement of such production.

About the Projects

Hindalco Industries had proposed to set up an aluminium product SEZ in Orissa. The formal approval to the developer was granted in July 2007. The developer was granted extension from time to time and the last extension granted expired on 31 December 2013.

Essar Jamnagar SEZ, which had proposed to set up a multi-product zone in Gujarat, got formal approval in August 2006. It was expired in August 2009. The developer did not make any request for further extension of approval.

Similarly, Adani Townships & Real Estate Company had proposed an IT/ITeS zone in Gujarat. The BoA granted formal approval in June 2007, which expired in June 2010.

WWF released Living Planet Report 2014


World Wildlife Fund (WWF) on 30 September 2014 released the Living Planet Report 2014. The theme of the report is Species and Spaces, People and Places.

The report provides the data compiled on over 10000 vertebrate species populations from 1970 to 2010 through the Living Planet Index - a database maintained by the Zoological Society of London.

The report also includes WWF’s One Plant Perspective with strategies to preserve, produce and consume more wisely.

Main Highlights of the Report

  • Creatures across land, rivers and the seas has decimated due to human activities like killing for food in unsustainable numbers and polluting or destroying their habitants.
  • Populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles have declined by 52 percent since 1970
  • Freshwater species have declined by 76 percent. The decline is an average loss that's nearly twice as that of land and saltwater marine species.
  • It says that human consumption of natural resources at the present rate would require 1.5 Earths to produce the resources necessary to support our current demand
  • It also highlighted the differences in consumption and biodiversity loss between nations and regions. It stated that the low-income countries have the smallest footprint but suffer the greatest ecosystem losses
  • The wildlife decline was worst in the tropics with a 56 percent drop as compared temperate regions that faced the drop by 36 percent
  • Latin America suffered the most drastic losses with an overall decline of 83 percent
  • It highlights the terrible situations for local populations due to increasing water scarcity mainly in countries like India, Australia and the United States that has highest water footprint of production and contains 8 of the top 10 most populous river basins
  • The report finds that humans are cutting timber much more quickly than trees regrow, pumping freshwater faster than groundwater restocks, and releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere faster than nature can sequester it.
  • The 10 countries with the largest per capita Ecological Footprints are: Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Belgium, Trinidad and Tobago, Singapore, United States of America, Bahrain and Sweden.

About Living Planet Report 2014

The Living Planet Report 2014 is the tenth edition of WWF’s biennial flagship publication. The partners of the Living Planet Report are Zoological Society of London, Global Footprint Network and Water Footprint Network.

The report's measure of humanity's Ecological Footprint is provided by the Global Footprint Network.


UN ESCAP released Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report 2014


United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) on 24 September 2014 released Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) 2014. According to report, growth in trade and investment flows in Asia-Pacific region is yet to return to its levels of strength prior to the global financial crisis.

APTIR 2014 highlighted the importance of countries remaining open to imports, and not resorting to unnecessarily trade-restrictive measures.

The report traces a worrying trend of increasingly restrictive measures across the region, dominated by behind-the-border non-tariff measures, many of which have had unintended and detrimental consequences for the Asia-Pacific’s least developed countries, presenting particular obstacles to small and medium sized exporters.


Highlights of the Report
• Total exports and imports of Asia-Pacific grew by only 2 percent in 2013 and were weak in the first half of 2014.
• Exports and exports growth is expected to increase to 7 percent in 2015, but considerable uncertainties in global macro-economic prospects to be noted.
• Regional economies need to diversify away from dependence on traditional sources of export-demand in Europe and the United States and should develop domestic demand and better integrating with other regional economies.
• The APTIR 2014 showed consolidated intraregional trade, with more than half of regional exports now directed to other Asia-Pacific countries.
• ESAP recommended the countries to adapt their national according to changing patterns of global trade. And also advised, to succeed in this globalized world, countries will need to enhance competitiveness and find areas where they can best integrate in value chains.
• Concentrations of exports and imports remain uneven across the Asia-Pacific region that is
• North East Asia alone was responsible for about 60 percent of both total regional merchandise exports and imports in 2013.
• All service exports from the Asia-Pacific region were 65 percent from six economies that is China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Singapore and Hong Kong, China.
• The above data shows the large gaps remain between countries in terms of their trade competitiveness and level of diversification, and that great potential remains still untapped in services sectors of many countries.
• The growth in commercial services exports from the Asia-Pacific region at 5.2 percent lagged behind the world total of 5.5 percent in 2013.
• Asia-Pacific attracted 549 billion US dollar of foreign direct investment (FDI) in 2013 and a rise of 6.6 percent which is accounting for almost 38 percent of global inflows. But this was still lower than the global increase and lagged behind other fast-growing regions such as Latin America.
• A noticeable diversification in the destination of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) within the Asia-Pacific region- with new locations and smaller players now attracting more foreign investors, and on a larger scale.
• Intraregional FDI is also found to be expanding in importance, with inflows through mergers and acquisitions totaling more than 153 billion US dollar, which is accounting for almost one third of total regional FDI inflows 2013 and also flowing to a diverse range of destinations.
• Foreign investment in transferring technology and generating jobs, playing a promising development and augurs well for deepening global value chains, stimulating higher returns and generating decent jobs.


About Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report

The Asia-Pacific Trade and Investment Report (APTIR) is a periodic publication prepared by the Trade and Investment Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific.

It provides information on and independent analyses of trends and developments in:
• Intra- and inter-regional trade in goods and services
• Foreign direct investment
• Trade facilitation measures
• Trade policy measures
• Preferential trade policies and agreements

The report provides insights into the impacts of these recent and emerging developments on countries’ abilities to meet the challenges of achieving inclusive and sustainable development.

Afghanistan signed Bilateral Security Agreement with the US

Afghanistan on 30 September 2014 signed Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) with the US with an aim to allow some US troops to remain in the country till 2015.

National Security Adviser of Afghanistan Mohammad Hanif Atmar and US Ambassador James Cunningham signed BSA at the presidential palace of Afghanistan in Kabul.


Signing of the BSA was the first act of the new government in Afghanistan headed by President Ashraf Ghani who was sworn-in on 29 September 2014.

Main highlights of Bilateral Security Arrangement (BSA)

• 12000 foreign military personnel to stay after December 2014 when the combat mission of Afghanistan's US-led NATO force ends.
• Out of this 10000 US soldiers will remain in Afghanistan when the combat mission of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) will end in December 2014.
• The troops will continue training, advising and equipping Afghan soldiers and police, and to carry out counter-terrorism operations.
• It allows the US to hold a civil or criminal trial or take other disciplinary action, as appropriate, in the territory of Afghanistan in the case that a US soldier is accused of a crime.
• It does not require US forces to intervene if Afghanistan comes under foreign attack.
• Foreign troops would not be able to enter holy sites or civilian homes, a longstanding demand of former President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai.
• The US has the right to keep bases in Afghanistan as long as the security pact is in force, and in return it promises to raise funds to train and equip the Afghan security forces, which now number 350000.

Besides, Atmar also signed a status of forces agreement with NATO, providing similar legal protections for the alliance’s personnel in Afghanistan.

With this NATO announced a new mission named Resolute Support.


The new mission will focus on training and support for the Afghan army and police as they take on Taliban fighters. So terrorists can never use Afghanistan to launch attacks against the U.S. or its allies.


Talks on the security agreement began in November 2012 with a stated goal of reaching an agreement by May 2013. However, the ex-President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai had refused to sign the deal in a disagreement that came to symbolise the breakdown of Afghan-US relations.

During the campaign trail, both Ghani and his poll rival Abdullah Abdullah had vowed to reverse Karzai's decision. The signing of the deal by newly elected President Ashraf Ghani is intended to repair the ties with Washington

Kotak Mahindra Bank acquired 15 percent stake of FTIL in MCX for 459 crore rupees

Kotak Mahindra Bank on 29 September 2014 acquired 15 percent stake of Financial Technologies (India) Ltd (FTIL) in Multi Commodity Exchange (MCX) for 459 crore rupees. Kotak Bank acquired MCX shares at about 664 rupees a piece.

After the Forward Markets Commission declared FTIL as unfit to hold stake in the commodity exchange, FTIL was forced to offload its holding in the exchange.

Forward Market Commission declared FTIL unfit after its arm, National Spot Exchange, failed to settle trade worth 5600 crore rupees on its platform.

With this deal, FTIL managed to sell its entire 26 per cent shareholding in MCX for about 900 crore rupees. The deal lifts the embargo on MCX to launch contracts for the next calendar year.

Besides reducing the term of the technology contract, MCX will now pay FTIL a fixed charge of 1.5 crore rupees a month, including managed services payable in advance on a semi annual basis. Earlier, it was paying 2 crore rupees a month.

FTIL will also get a variable charge of 10.3 per cent of gross transaction fees, compared with 12.5 per cent earlier. MCX paid about 60 crore rupees to FTIL for receiving technological support and services last fiscal.

Earlier, FTIL concluded a long-term 10-year technology contract with MCX for providing software support and managed services on mutually agreed terms and conditions, and a further renewal as may be mutually agreed upon.

Former International cricket umpire Mohammad Ghouse died


Former International cricket umpire Mohammad Ghouse died on 29 September 2014 following a brief illness. He was 83.

He was survived by his wife, son and three daughters.

Mohammad Ghouse
• Mohammad Ghouse made his debut as an umpire in a Ranji Trophy match in 1968-69 and went on to officiate over its 18 seasons.
• His first Test as an official was in 1975-76 in the match between India and New Zealand.
• As a BCCI Test and ODI panel umpire, he performed official duties in eight Test matches in 1970s and two One-Day Internationals in 1980s.
• After Ghouse retired as an umpire, he served as the chairman of the Tamil Nadu Cricket Association's umpires sub-committee and as a BCCI match referee.


AP Government signed MoU with Google India for Digital AP project


The Andhra Pradesh (AP) Government on 29 September 2014 signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement with Google India for Digital AP project. The agreement was signed at the CEOs’ Conclave of Information Technology (IT) companies in AP.

Under the memorandum, Google India will work with the AP government to get women and small and medium businesses online and help them gain from the internet economy. It will launch a series of initiatives to transform the State into digital AP in a record time.

By improving accessibility to government websites and scaling the local language web, Google will endeavour to make the Internet more meaningful to the users who do not speak English.

Highlights of the MoU Agreement
• Google will make websites mobile-ready and accessible in the local language.
• It will promote Internet Safety amongst children and government officials.
• Google will improve the online content as well as will get more local language content online.
• It will collaborate with AP government to scale initiatives to promote digital literacy amongst women.
• The initiatives will include developing Telugu font, keyboards and content.

Digital AP Project
The Government of Andhra Pradesh intends to develop Andhra Pradesh into a global digital development hub with its Digital AP project. The vision laid out under the Digital AP project is in tandem with the Digital India Initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Important MoUs signed with other companies
• The event also marked the launch of a Technology Research and Incubation Park at Madhurawada IT Special Economic Zone (SEZ). The AP government signed MoU with Kochi-based company Start-up Village for managing the incubation park.
• AP government also signed MoU with various IT companies for setting up their facilities in and around Visakhapatnam. These include MoU with Tech Mahindra for its facility over 10 acres of land. It is expected to provide 5000 jobs.
• Another MoU was signed with Wipro to accord SEZ status to its existing campus in the city. The facility will increase the number of jobs to 7000.
• Under another agreement, the government allotted 13 acres at Gambheeram IT SEZ to Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering and Research (SAMEER) to set up a research and development centre.

Year-Long Centenary Commemoration of Komagata Maru Incident Inaugurated

The year-long centenary commemoration of 1914 Komagata Maru Incident was inaugurated on 29 September 2014 by Union Ministry of Culture on completion of 100 years after the incident.

The event was organised to pay tribute to the heroic struggle of 376 Indian immigrants on board the ship the Komagata Maru against discriminatory immigration laws of Canada in the early years of twentieth century. A set of commemorative coins of denominations of 100 rupees and 5 rupees was released to mark the occasion.

Union Culture Minister Shri Shripad Naik honored three granddaughters of Baba Gurdit Singh: Harbhajan Kaur, Satwant Kaur and Balbir Kaur on the occasion. Baba Gurdit Singh was the hero of the Komagata Maru episode.

The National Implementation Committee in its first meeting on 8 July 2014 decided to hold the inaugural function to commemorate centenary of the Komagata Maru incident on 29 September 2014 at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi.

National Implementation Committee
• The Union Government constituted National Implementation Committee on 5 May 2014 to chalk out programmes for creating awareness about the heroic struggle of Indian migrants. These programmes will be taken up during the period from 29 September 2014 to 29 September 2015.
• The programmes include national and international conferences, publications, development of digital archives and preparation of films and documentaries.
• The National Implementation Committee also approved a proposal from Punjabi University, Patiala for the production of a play titled Komagata Maru – 1914.
• It has also decided to hold a week-long function at Vancouver from 23 May 2015 to 30 May 2015 which would include cultural events, seminars and exhibitions besides honouring the descendants of the Komagata Maru passengers as well as non-Indians including Canadians who rendered assistance both to the cause of Komagata Maru passengers.

Komagata Maru Incident
The Komagata Maru incident was about a Japanese steamship named the Komagata Maru that sailed from Hong Kong, Shanghai, China to Yokohama, Japan and then to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in 1914.

It carried 376 passengers from Punjab, India. Among them 24 were admitted to Canada, but the 352 other passengers were not allowed to land in Canada and the ship was forced to return to India. The passengers consisted of 340 Sikhs, 24 Muslims, and 12 Hindus and all of them were British subjects.

The Komagata Maru arrived in Calcutta in September 1914. The British Imperial Government saw the men on Komagata Maru as dangerous political agitators. The police went aboard the ship on 29 September 1914 to arrest Baba Gurdit Singh and other leaders.

The arrest was resisted by the passengers which led to police firing in which 19 passengers were killed. However, Baba Gurdit Singh escaped along with many others. The rest of the passengers were sent to Punjab.

Third Global Citizen Festival held in New York


Third Global Citizen Festival was held at the Central Park in New York on 27 September 2014. The annual festival is aimed at raising the consciousness of a generation to make change inevitable.

The festival was attended by world leaders like United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Norway Erna Solberg and President of the World Bank Jim Yong Kim. At the festival, the leaders raised their commitment on the issues of sustainable development, poverty and climate change.

The festival was featured by the artists
• Jay Z, an American rapper
• No Doubt, American rock band
• Carrie Underwood and Beyonce, they are American singers
• Fun, American indie pop band
• The Roots, American hip hop/neo soul band
• Tiesto, Dutch DJ


About Global Citizen
Global Citizen is an initiative of Global Poverty Project, an international education and advocacy organization of Australia working to catalyze the movement to end extreme poverty by 2030.

The Global Poverty Project creates campaigns with the purpose of increasing the number of people taking action to end extreme poverty, with the vision of a world without extreme poverty by 2030.

About Global Citizen Festival
Global citizen festival aims to secure new commitments to health, education, equality of women and global partnerships.
The festival is an incredible tool to promote activism through something people love – live musical entertainment which in turn, give world leaders a clear and compelling mandate to commit to end extreme poverty.

India and the US issued Vision Statement to boost strategic ties


India and the United States issued Vision Statement to boost strategic ties on 29 September 2014. The Vision Statement titled Chalein Saath-Saath: Forward Together We Go was issued after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met US President Barack Obama at the dinner at White House in Washington DC.


The joint statement sought to expand and deepen the strategic partnership between the largest and oldest democracies in the world for the benefit of not only the two nations but also for the benefit of the world.

Main Highlights of the Vision Statement

  • Both the countries would cooperate in security and fight terrorism
  • It called for an inclusive rule based global order in which India will assume greater multilateral responsibility, including a reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
  • Both the countries also determined to work together to tackle the threat of climate change
  • The two countries also committed to cooperate to address the consequences of unchecked pollution through cooperation among governments, science and academic communities of both the nations.
  • Both the countries will partner to ensure that they have affordable, clean, reliable, and diverse sources of energy, including efforts to bring American-origin nuclear power technologies to India.
  • Two countries would also work to ensure that economic growth brought better livelihoods for all people.
  • The vision statement also stressed the importance of open markets and fair and transparent practices to allow trade to flourish.
  • The joint statement also called for jointly countering the infectious diseases, eliminate maternal and child deaths, and work to eradicate poverty for all and ensure the fullest empowerment of women in a secure environment.
  • Both the nation highlighting the mission of their founding fathers emphasised to provide equal opportunity for our people through democracy and freedom.
  • The statement also committed to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction and reduce the salience of nuclear weapons so as to promote universal, verifiable, and non-discriminatory nuclear disarmament.

Analysis and Comment

The US is keen on expanding business and security ties with India so as to counterbalance an increasingly assertive China in Asia. However, so far the relationship between the two nations failed to live up to the Joint Declaration issued in 2010. The Joint Declaration called for making the Indo-US partnerships one of the defining partnerships of the 21st Century.

It has to be seen whether the hype generated by Narendra Modi’s first visit to the US in his capacity as Prime Minister really becomes the defininf relationship between the two nations or not.

World Tourism Day observed across the world

27 September: World Tourism Day

World Tourism Day (WTD) was observed across the world on 27 September 2014. The theme of the World Tourism Day 2014 is Tourism and Community Development. The 2014 WTD is focused to highlight the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities.


The focus is in line with the global transition to the Sustainable Development Goals as the guiding principle that is promoted by the United Nations from 2015 and beyond.

About World Tourism Day

• World Tourism Day is held annually on 27 September with purpose to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political and economic value.

• The first World Tourism Day was celebrated in 1980 after decision made by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in 1979.

• The event seeks to address global challenges outlined in the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and to highlight the contribution that the tourism sector can make in reaching these goals.