1. Hun Sen sworn in Cambodian PM
i. Hun Sen, 61, who has been in power for 28 years, was sworn in Tuesday as Cambodian prime minister for another five-year term.
ii. Hun Sen took office after parliament re-elected him as the prime minister amid a boycott by the opposition party.
iii. The premier, along with his newly approved cabinet members, took oath at the Royal Palace under the auspices of King Norodom Sihamoni and Buddhist monks Tep Vong and Bour Kry.
iv. Under the country's constitution, a new government can be formed by a 50 percent plus one majority, or 63 lawmakers, in the parliament.
2. Mayaram submits report on NSEL
i. A high-level panel, headed by Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram, on Monday submitted to Finance Minister P. Chidambaram its report on the alleged irregularities at the National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).
ii. The panel is said to have recommended two sets of measures to deal with the NSEL issue and also the problem of regulatory gaps in oversight of spot exchanges. Enforcement action has been recommended against NSEL and the persons behind the company, it is learnt.
iii. The panel is said to have spelt out the immediate measures to be taken against NSEL in the context of the investigations by various agencies.
iv. The Mayaram committee report is said to have recommended a regulatory framework for spot exchanges. But closing the regulatory gaps around spot exchanges will be the long-term solution.
v. The Commission, which has come under the administration of the Finance Ministry, had no powers to regulate spot exchanges.
vi. The main issue was whether NSEL violated the Government exemption for one-day forward trading and also the ban on all short sales.
vii. NSEL, part of Jignesh Shah-led Financial Technologies group, is facing a crisis in settling dues worth Rs 5,600 crore.
3. ICICI Bank launches new Facebook app Pockets
i. ICICI Bank has launched a new Facebook app that will enable its customers to transact directly from the social networking site.
ii. Primarily targeted at young customers, the new app 'Pockets' will enable customers of the bank to transfer money, recharge mobile phones and book movie tickets from their Facebook pages.
iii. There will be no additional charge for using the application, the bank said.
iv. The "split and share" app on the platform will allow customers to split and track group expenses and share them with friends on Facebook. The app also gives the customer the option of sending messages to remind friends about pending payments.
v. For every new transaction, the bank will send a one-time password to the customer. This will ensure safety of the transaction.
Note: According to a Comscore report, Facebook users in India spend about three-and-a-half hours on the social networking site daily.
4. Moody’s cuts 2013-14 GDP growth forecast to 4.5%
i. Moody’s has lowered its outlook for India's GDP growth to 4.5 per cent for 2013-14 from 5.5 per cent.
ii. This reflects the recent depreciation of the rupee, which will exacerbate inflationary pressures, keep domestic interest rates relatively high, and hinder a recovery in domestic demand growth.
iii. “Such weak conditions will negatively affect the asset quality, profitability, and capital of public sector banks, including SBI,” Moody’s said in a statement.
5. Joint military exercises between India & Nepal starts in U’khand
i. Joint military exercises in general combat and mountain warfare between India and Nepal began in Pithoragarh today in Uttrakhand .
ii. The exercise includes anti-insurgency operations in hilly terrains and relief and rescue operations at the time of natural disasters.
iii. According to official sources the military exercise will conclude on October 6. Over 900 Indian and Nepali troops are taking part in this exercise being conducted in mountainous terrains of the area shared by the geography of both the countries in this two weeks long 5th Indo-Nepal war games.
iv. The joint military exercises between Indian and Nepal began at platoon level, which has now reached at company level.
6. PV Sindhu finally receives Arjuna award
i. Rising shuttler P V Sindhu was conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award by Sports Minister Jitendra Singh in New Delhi on Tuesday.
ii. Sindhu had missed the opportunity to receive the award from President Pranab Mukhejee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 31 as she was busy playing in the final of the Indian Badminton league (IBL).
iii. Jitendra Singh today presented the shuttler with a statuette, citation and a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh during the governing body meeting of Sports Authority of India.
iv. Sindhu also won her maiden Grand Prix Gold title when she bagged the women`s singles trophy in the USD 120,000 Malaysia Open badminton in Kuala Lumpur in May.
v. 18-year-old Sindhu became the first Indian woman shuttler to clinch a bronze medal at the World Championships last month.
7. Bunker Roy and Malala Yousafzai to receive top US award
i. India environmentalist Bunker Roy and Pakistan's teenage education activist Malala Yousafzai were declared winners of this year's of the prestigious 'Clinton Global Citizens Awards'.
ii. Roy is the founder of the Barefoot College, which has been providing solutions to problems in rural communities for more than 40 years.
iii. As a result of Barefoot's work, one million litres of rainwater have been harvested to provide clean drinking water to over 239,000 school children in more than 1,300 communities worldwide.
iv. Roy has been named one of the 50 environmentalists who could save the planet by the Guardian and one of the 100 most influential people in the world by TIME magazine.
v. The awards will be presented in a special ceremony tomorrow during the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City, where more than 1,000 top business, government, and civil society leaders will convene to address some of the world's most pressing challenges.
vi. The Clinton Global Citizen Awards were launched in 2007 to honour outstanding individuals for their visionary leadership, demonstrated impact, and sustainable and scalable work in solving global issues.
8. India's TCS, GE launch female BPO centre in Saudi Arabia
i. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) in partnership with GE and Saudi Aramco Tuesday launched first all-female business process outsourcing (BPO) centre in Saudi Arabia that will create nearly 3,000 jobs in the Gulf kingdom.
ii. The centre, in Dhahran, headquarters of Saudi Aramco, will be staffed by Saudi women with TCS and GE owning 76 percent and 24 percent equity respectively in the new venture, which will initially serve Saudi Aramco and GE as anchor clients.
iii. The collaboration of the three companies underscores their strong commitment to support Saudi Arabia’s localisation strategies to diversify the Kingdom’s economy and enable the growth of a viable employment sector, TCS said in a statement.
iv. The centre brings a unique business model to Saudi Arabia, and is set to become a rich training ground for building new capabilities, skills and careers for Saudi females.
v. It employ skilled graduates in the areas of finance, accounting, human resources management and supply chain management services.
vi. Besides, Mistry, TCS managing director N Chandrasekaran, Saudi Aramco president Khalid A. al Falih, and GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt were also present at the event. Governor of Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority Abdullatif A. Al-Othman was the chief guest at the launch ceremony.
9. PSU bank employees’ unions call off Sept 25 strike
i. Banks will function normally tomorrow as a section of public sector bank employees who had threatened to go on strike have deferred it following an assurance from the Government that there is no plan for merger of banks at present.
ii. Following a conciliatory meeting before the Chief Labour Commissioner, where officials of the Finance Ministry and the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) were present, it was decided to defer the strike, the All-India Bank Employees’ Association (AIBEA) General Secretary C. H. Venkatachalam said
iii. He said the Finance Ministry official gave an assurance that there was no plan for merger of public sector banks and that both the IBA and Finance Ministry officials said that other demands of the two unions would be considered.
iv. The Government representative also clarified that there was no proposal for merger of public sector banks nor had they received any proposal for the merger of any associate bank with SBI,” he said.
v. As regards the service conditions of employees of associate banks, IBA said the same would be governed by the bipartite settlement and that there would be no unilateral imposition of any service conditions, he added.
vi. AIBEA and the Bank Employees’ Federation of India (BEFI) had given a call for observance of a one-day nation-wide bank strike on September 25 in support of their demands.
10. Bo Xilai appeals against life term
i. Bo Xilai, China’s disgraced former Communist Party leader, has appealed against his life sentence conviction.
ii. The move came after a court in eastern China sentenced Bo to life in prison on Sunday for bribe-taking, embezzlement and abuse of power.
iii. Besides the life sentence, he was stripped of political rights and his assets were seized. He received the life sentence for bribe-taking, 15 years for embezzlement and seven years for abuse of power.
iv. Bo — a former rising political star, fell from power amid a scandal involving murder, betrayal and financial skullduggery.
v. According to Chinese law he could appeal to the higher court in the province whose judgement will be final.
vi. The sentence is the most severe punishment of a former Politburo member since the so-called Gang of Four’s trial in 1980-81 involving Mao Zedong’s widow, Jiang Qing.
11. Air New Zealand to fly planes to Antarctica
i. Air New Zealand plans to fly its planes to Antarctica that would see pilots landing on an ice runway.
ii. However, the chartered flights will be only for the scientists and their support crew and not for the common people as the airline said it had no plans to start commercial trips.
iii. The airline will carry out a trial flight on October 4 from Auckland to Pegasus Field on Ross Island in order to prove that the trip could be possible. The airline also said that if the test flight proves successful it would operate two more flights during the upcoming Antarctic summer season.
iv. For the Antarctic flights, Air New Zealand will use one of its regular passenger planes - an unmodified Boeing 767-300.
v. Unlike the RNZAF 757s which currently flies to Antarctica, Air New Zealand planes can make a return trip without refuelling.
Note: i. About 2200 scientists are being transported between New Zealand and Antarctica each year. Most of the flights are carried out by the US Air Force from Christchurch, using either Boeing C17 or Hercules aircraft.
ii. In 1979, an Air New Zealand plane crashed into the Mt Erebus on Ross Island killing all 257 on board, which was New Zealand’s worst civil disaster.