Wednesday, 15 May 2013


1.    France has slipped into Recession !
i. Preliminary data released from the INSEE (National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies) statistics agency on 14 May 2013 revealed the fact that the French economy has entered a shallow recession after shrinking by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of the year.
ii. The economy entered into recession because of weak exports, investment and household spending. 
iii. France is already suffering number of jobless people; the number of unemployed people in France went up to all time high in March 2013.
iv. The country's economy shrank by the same amount in the last quarter of 2012. France has record unemployment and low business and consumer confidence.
v. As per the INSEE statistics, investment in France contracted by 0.9 percent in the first quarter of the year.
vi. Similarly business investment went down by 0.8 percent and exports went down bu 0.5 percent in the second quarter.
vii. The household consumption also recorded a fall of 0.1 percent; this is the first downfall in household consumption since second quarter of 2012. 

NOTE: i. Recession is defined as regular contraction of GDP for consecutive two quarters.
ii. In case of France, the economy shrank by 0.2 percent in last quarter of 2012. 
iii. Earlier this month, the European Commission warned France would enter recession this year and said the euro zone would shrink by 0.4 percent.
iv. The European Commission has also offered French Economy a time limitation of two years to bring the public deficit of the nation in line with the European Union limit of 3percent of GDP.

2.    India placed sixth in economic confidence: Survey
i. Country is now the sixth most economically confident country in the world after Saudi Arabia, Sweden, China, Canada and Germany.
ii. According to a survey by global research firm Ipsos, India’s economic confidence dropped by 2 points to 63 per cent in the month of April 2013 compared to the month of March 2013.
iii. Ipsos said :  The drop in economic confidence of the country was despite the fact the there has been a continuous decline in inflation rate and upbeat investor confidence.
iv. Saudi Arabia (80 per cent) continued to lead the world on national economic assessment, despite seeing a downward trend over the past quarter. It is followed by Sweden (73 per cent), China (72 per cent), Canada (65 per cent), Germany (64 per cent) and India (63 per cent).
v. India’s economic confidence dropped last month due to plethora of corruption allegations against the Union government ministers.
vi. The online Ipsos Economic Pulse of the World survey was conducted among 18,331 people in 24 countries.
vii. Meanwhile, four in 10 Indian citizens (41 per cent) believe that their local economy, which impacts their personal finance, is good and has seen a marginal rise of 2 points. About 47 per cent people expect that the economy in their local area will be stronger in next six months.

3.    R.B.I. directed Banks to follow Clean Note Policy
i. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on 14 May 2013 directed banks to follow the Clean Note Policy strictly and issue clean currency notes to public.
ii. RBI issued a notification that also asked the banks to do away the process of stapling the currency notes and to secure the note packets with paper bands.
iii. In its notification to the banks, the RBI also directed to sort notes into re-issuable and non-issuable notes and to withdraw soiled notes from circulation in the market.
iv. Banks have also been asked to stop writing of any kind on watermark window of bank notes as it disfigures the watermark impression and recognition becomes difficult.
v. As per RBI, on an average 20 percent of notes is disposed off after getting soiled every year and in the fiscal year 2012-13 that ended on 31 March 2013 the number of such soiled currency bills stood at over 13 billion units.

4.    WPI Inflation eased to 4.89 percent in April 2013
i. As per official data released on 14 May 2013, WPI Inflation eased to 4.89 percent in April 2013.
ii. Declining price of food items, including fruits and vegetables caused a three and a half year low.
iii. Inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) stood at 5.96 percent in March 2013.
iv. In April, 2012, it was 7.50 percent. This is the lowest level of inflation since November, 2009 when it was 4.78 percent.

5.    Union Government decided to Advertise Best Practices on RTI
i. The Union Government on 14 May 2013 decided to publicize best practices on implementation of Right to Information (RTI) Act by public authorities all over the country.
ii. For the Publicity purpose, a write ups about the best practices on RTI being adopted by public authorities all over the country, has been invited by the citizens from the Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT), which is a nodal body for the implementation of RTI Act.
iii. The Department of Personnel and Training (DoPT) is on their way to publish a compendium of best practices on the RTI being adopted by a government department or public authority. 
iii. As per the DoPT, the best 20 write-ups are supposed to be selected for inclusion in the compendium.
iv. The individuals whose write ups are selected for inclusion in the compendium would be rewarded with amount of 25000 each. 

NOTE: i. It is important here to note that the DoPT had last in month of April 2013 also started a unique facility of submitting RTI applications and fees online.
ii. It has created a portal — — which is intended to help people use their right to know through online medium.

6.    India and Netherlands signed MoU in the Field of Urban Planning
i. India and Netherlands on 14 May 2013 signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Technical Cooperation in the field of Spatial Planning, Water Management, and Mobility Management at Hague, Netherlands during the visit of Kamal Nath, Minister for Urban Development and Parliamentary Affairs.
ii. The Memorandum of Understanding will enable greater cooperation in the areas of - Spatial planning, urban and regional planning and development and architecture; Water management in terms of Water supply and sanitation and governance structures; Transport management and transport systems and infrastructure; Energy-efficient and sustainable built forms.
iii. Under the MoU, a Joint Working Group would be set up that would prepare annual work programmes. 
iv. It was decided that the first seminar under the MoU would take place in June 2013 at Rotterdam to be followed by another seminar in India later in the year.

7.    Puducherry Government launched Dairy Development Scheme
i. The Puducherry administration in Month of May 2013 launched a central government-sponsored scheme to promote dairy activities and to enhance socio-economic status of the farmers in the Union Territory.
ii. Under the Rashtriya Kisan Yojana Scheme 400 beneficiaries have been selected in the first phase of which 27 have been extended a subsidy of 50000 Rupees each running to a total of 13.5 lakh Rupees. However, the rest would be sanctioned the amount in the next phase.
iii. The scheme ideates distribution of 50 per cent subsidy for each farmer starting dairy projects.
iv. As per the scheme, each farmer is supposed to get 50000 Rupees to launch a mini-dairy project with three milch cows.
v. This subsidy is meant to enable the farmers to purchase milch animals and meet part of the expenditure to raise infrastructure for cow shed.
vi. The Government has also formulated a separate scheme to assist farmers living below poverty line and initially 47 farmers would be extended a total subsidy of 12500 each as 50 per cent subsidy for purchasing a milch cow.
vii. The efforts were made to ensure improved milk production in Puducherry as there is a coiling demand for milk from different sectors.

8.    Mittu Chandilya appointed chief executive of AirAsia India
i. Proposed airline AirAsia India Wednesday appointed Singapore-based Mittu Chandilya as its chief executive.
ii. India has appointed Mittu Chandilya as CEO of AirAsia India," tweeted Tony Fernandes, Air Asia's Indian-origin founder and chief executive.
iii. Chandilya, 32, was earlier head of services practices at consulting firm Egon Zehnder International based out of Singapore from October 2009.
iv. He holds a master of business administration (MBA) from the prestigious graduate business school INSEAD in France.
v. The appointment of Chandilya fulfills a key condition for getting permission for starting operations from the home and civil aviation ministries.

NOTE: i. The government March 26, 2013 had approved AirAsia's proposal to set up a new airline in the Indian civil aviation sector with partners Tata Group and Arun Bhatia-promoted Telestra Tradeplace
ii. The initial investment approved for the airline stands at Rs. 80.98 crore. The approval allows the budget carrier to roll out the seventh scheduled domestic carrier in the Indian skies.
iii. Currently, there are six scheduled domestic airlines in the country -- Air India, Jet Airways, Jet Lite, SpiceJet, IndiGo and GoAir. The operating licence of Kingfisher Airlines was suspended last year.
iv. The low-cost carrier will operate from Chennai and focus on providing connectivity to smaller cities with a small fleet initially. It plans to start operations by the end of this year.

9.    PM files nomination papers for re-election to RS from Assam
i. The Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh today asserted that Centre has launched a series of schemes for the upliftment and betterment of weaker sections of society. 
ii. Dr. Singh in his address to the Congress Legislature Party said that he will continue to work for the country and people of Assam. Thanking people of Assam Dr. Singh said he made every possible effort to help the state to ensure its speedy development.
iii. Earlier, Prime Minister filed his nomination papers for the re-election to the Rajya Sabha at Dispur in Guwahati.
iv. The current term of Prime Minister Dr Singh will expire on 14th of the next month.

10.  Pak Ambassador to US resigns after PPP's defeat in polls
i. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's envoy to the US, on Tuesday resigned following the defeat of the Pakistan People's Party in last week's general elections.
ii. Congratulating the new parliament on its election, Rehman sent in her resignation to the caretaker Prime Minister Mir Hazar Khan Khoso, Pakistan Embassy spokesman Nadeem Hotiana said in a message posted on Twitter.
iii. Another message on Twitter quoted Rehman as saying: "It is time a new envoy comes in as quickly as possible so that there is no gap in the relationship."
iv. Rehman, 52, a close aide of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, was appointed to the post by the PPP-led government in 2011.

11.  Crucial IOC meeting to begin process for India's Oly return
i. Armed with a concrete action plan, India's sports administrators will hold a crucial meeting with the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne on Wednesday to draw a roadmap for the country's return to the Olympic fold.
ii. The meeting assumes great importance for India's sporting future as it would be the first time that IOC and IOA sit down for discussion, a good five months after the country was suspended for failing to adhere to the Olympic charter.
iii. While the delegates are optimistic of a favourable outcome, some other sports administrators are not too hopeful of any fruitful result from the meeting, pointing out that the IOA was still not united on many issues.
iv. The meeting will also be attended by Sports Minister Jitendra Singh, Sports Secretary PK Deb, Beijing Olympics gold-medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra and Olympian sailor Malav Shroff.

12.  Matt Prior named England's Cricketer of the Year for 2012-13
i. Matt Prior was named the England cricketer-of-the-year for 2012-13, in an acknowledgement of the Sussex wicket-keeper's consistency with both bat and gloves.
ii. Prior was presented with his award at Lord’s on 14 May 2013.
iii. The 31-year-old is now one of the first names on the team sheet after England captain Alastair Cook.
iv. The latest demonstration of his worth to the side came with his match-saving unbeaten hundred in the drawn third Test against New Zealand in Auckland in March.

13.  Chennai cruise to 33-run win over Delhi
i. Chennai Super Kings beat Delhi Daredevils by 33 runs in their Indian Premier League match at their home ground on Tuesday.
ii. Mahendra Singh Dhoni led the way with a typically aggressive half-century to power Chennai Super Kings to a 33-run win over Delhi Daredevils and brighten their prospects of securing a top-two finish.
iii. Batting first, Chennai rode on Dhoni's 35-ball unbeaten 58 to post a competitive 168 for four.
iv. Albie Morkel (3/32) then spearheaded a disciplined bowling effort to restrict Delhi to 135 for nine at the MA Chidambaram Stadium

Brief scores:
Chennai Super Kings: 168 for 4 in 20 overs (Mahendra Singh Dhoni not out 58, Murali Vijay 31; Umesh Yadav 2/26).

Delhi Daredevils: 135 for 9 in 20 overs (David Warner 44; Albie Morkel 3/32, Ravichandran Ashwin 2/19, Dwayne Bravo 2/19, Mohit Sharma 2/22).


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