1. Volkswagen AG appoints Matthias Mueller as new CEO
i. German auto maker Volkswagen AG has appointed Matthias Mueller as its new chief executive officer (CEO). Prior to this appointment, he was serving as CEO of Volkswagen’s subsidiary Porsche AG.
ii. He will succeed Martin Winterkorn who had resigned from office following an emissions cheating scandal (dubbed as Diesel Dope) described as a moral and political disaster.
iii. Matthias Mueller first priority as CEO would be to win back trust of investors following a plunge in Volkswagen AG stock by 30 per cent over the Diesel Dope scandal. The scandal had damaged the reputation of world’s largest car manufacturer’s in terms of sales and had threatened its business.
iv. Earlier, Volkswagen AG had admitted that it had cheated on diesel car emission test in United States by manipulating it by making changes in software on more than 4 lakh cars.
v. Currently, US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) is investigating into Volkswagen over the Diesel Dope scandal. Transport authorities in several countries including the United Kingdom, South Korea and Germany etc also have announced their own investigations.
2. Shivinder Mohan Singh resigned as executive vice-chairman of Fortis Healthcare Limited
i. Shivinder Mohan Singh on 23 September 2015 resigned as the executive vice-chairman of Fortis Healthcare Limited. Fortis is a New Delhi based hospital chain.
ii. After a brief transition period, he will be designated as non-executive vice-chairman of Fortis with effect from 1 January 2016. He resigned from the position as he decided to take up full-time sewa at the Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB), a philosophical organisation spread over 90 countries worldwide.
iii. Shivinder, along with his elder brother Malvinder Mohan Singh, runs 55 hospitals under the Fortis brand across India. At present, Malvinder is the executive chairman of the company.
iv. Apart from Fortis, the brothers own financial services firm Religare Enterprises Limited. In 2008, they sold their 33.5 percent stake in Ranbaxy to Japanese drug major Daiichi Sankyo which they inherited from its founder Bhai Mohan Singh.
3. UNGA adopted Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
i. The 193-Member United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on 25 September 2015 formally adopted the Transforming Our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development along with a set of bold new Global Goals, that are a universal, integrated and transformative vision for a better world.
ii. The 2030 Agenda and the Global Goals were adopted during the UN Sustainable Development Summit that is being held at the UN headquarters in New York.
iii. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an agenda for people to end poverty in all its forms. It is composed of 17 goals and 169 targets to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change over the next 15 years.
iv. While, the Global Goals aim to build on the work of the historic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which in September 2000, rallied the world around a common 15-year agenda to tackle the indignity of poverty.
v. This Agenda, including its seventeen goals, can be met within the framework of a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, supported by the concrete policies and actions outlined in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda , which is an integral part of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development.
4. Kolkata start-up launches portal for preparing IT returns
i. A Kolkata-based start-up has announced the launch of its portal that helps in preparing income-tax returns and their filing.
ii. Alok Patnia, one of the three co-founders of the partnership firm Make Your Tax Technologies, said the portal was driven by software developed in-house that processed individual income and tax liabilities for the purpose of filing the individual’s or family’s tax returns.
iii. Abhishek Rungta, another co-founder of the portal and CEO of Indus Net Technologies, claimed the new platform allowed tax consultants to join in, if allowed by the tax assesses, in a bulk service providing exercise.
iv. The portal targets to have subscriptions from one lakh return filers next year and hopes to rope in around 200 tax consultants. The portal would also use Taxmantra.com and Indus Technologies’s network of consultants and offices in other metros for marketing its services.
5. Bajaj Auto finally launches quadricycle named ‘Qute’
i. Bajaj Auto on Friday launched its much-awaited RE60 quadricycle, which has been named ‘Qute’, at a free-on-board (FoB) price tag of $2,000 (around Rs. 1.35 lakh).
ii. The vehicle is meant only for export markets for now, as the regulations for India are not yet in place because of an ongoing public interest litigation in the Supreme Court.
iii. FoB refers to terms requiring the seller to deliver goods on board a vessel designated by the buyer. Depending on the duties and taxes of each country, the price will differ in each market.
iv. The vehicle will be shipped to 16 countries, including Turkey, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bangladesh, Kenya, Peru and Ecuador, starting early next month and will start with around 100 units initially.
v. The Qute has been designed in response to the evolving requirements of low-cost, last-mile public transport across the world by optimising size, weight, cost and speed, the company said.
6. Facebook to test wireless broadband services in India
i. From being just a social media platform, Facebook is transforming itself as an enabler of Internet access through various initiatives aimed at reaching the next billion users.
ii. On Thursday it announced partnerships with Internet Service Providers in India to launch wi-fi enabled broadband services in rural areas. Called Wi-Fi Express, the initiative is part of Facebook’s Internet.org platform as it looks to expand its user base beyond the saturated markets in the US and Europe.
iii. The Wi-Fi Express has gone live first in India. The initial Wi-Fi zones have been launched across several locations in North India. The initiative is being led by Munish Seth, who was earlier the country head of Alcatel Lucent’s India operations.
iv. Facebook has developed a low-cost software that will help hotspot operators at the village level do the billing and also alert consumers about data usage.
v. Facebook has been experimenting with various technologies to provide low-cost connectivity solutions. In its US labs, the company is working on using solar powered aircraft, codenamed Aquila, to provide network connectivity in remote locations. The aircraft has the wingspan of a Boeing 777 and is built to stay airborne at 60,000 feet for many months, connecting a large area over which it hovers.
7. Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis win Guangzhou Open title
i. The top seeds Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis continued their unbeaten run as they defeated Shilin Xu-Xiaodi You in the final to clinch the Guangzhou Open title on Saturday.
ii. The Indo-Swiss pair of Sania and Hingis registered an easy 6-3, 6-1 victory over unseeded Chinese pair in the summit clash.
iii. With this win, Sania claimed her seventh title of the season. She has won five titles with Hingis this season, including US Open and Wimbledon. They also won three titles in row at the start of the partnership --Indian Wells, Miami and Charleston.
iv. Sania had won her first title of the 2015 season with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in Sydney.