1. H.S.Brahma to be the next chief Election Commissioner of India.
i. Shri H.S. Brahma is all set to assume charge as the new Chief Election Commissioner of India.
ii. VS Sampath, Chief Election Commissioner, demits office on 15th January 2015, capping less than six years of an eventful tenure.
iii. Veeravalli Sundaram Sampath, turns 65 tomorrow, the upper age limit under the Constitution for holding the post.
iv. H.S.Brahma will be the 19th Chief Election Commissioner of India, He was the other election Commissioner along with Ahmed Zaidi in the outgoing Sampath regime.
v. H.S. Brahma, retired Indian Administrative Service officer of Andhra Pradesh State cadre (1975 Batch) assumed charge as Election Commissioner of India on 25th August, 2010.
i. The Modi government removed Avinash Chander, chief of top defence research organisation DRDO, 15 months before his contract was supposed to end.
ii. Chander was also the scientific advisor to the defence minister.
iii. Chander joined DRDO in 1972 after completing graduation in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. Chander is the chief architect of Agni series of ballistic missile systems.
iv. The action could have been taken against the backdrop of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s comment that the ‘laid back’ attitude in the DRDO will not be tolerated.
3. PVR set to acquire movie exhibition company SPI Cinemas
i. The Ajay Bijli led PVR group is set to acquire Chennai’s premier movie exhibition company SPI Cinemas, popularly known as Sathyam Cinemas.
ii. This could end up to be the biggest deal in India’s multiplex sector. the deal may close for a rather steep valuation of approximately Rs 750-1,000 crore for just 40 odd screens, located predominantly in the Southern metro.
iii. last month Carnival Cinemas paid a little over Rs 700 crore to buy out Anil Ambani’s Big Cinemas that has 242 screens across the country.
4. Union Ministry of Health proposed COTPA (Amendment) Bill 2015
i. The Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on 13 January 2015 proposed the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) (Amendment) Bill 2015 (COTPA).
ii. The bill seeks to amend some provisions of Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products (Prohibition of Advertisement and Regulation of Trade and Commerce, Production, Supply and Distribution) Act, 2003.
iii. Provisions of the COTPA (Amendment) Bill 2015
• The bill proposes to ban on-site advertising of tobacco products and shops selling cigarettes and other tobacco products will no longer be able to display the brand names.
• It proposed scrapping of designated smoking areas from hotels, restaurants and airports making an exception only for international airports to prevent exposure of non-smokers to harmful emissions.
• The penalty for smoking in restricted areas has been raised from 200 to 1000 rupees.
5. Bharatiya Mahila Bank inks pact with Lakme Salons to fund franchisees
i. Bharatiya Mahila Bank today inked an agreement with HUL arm Lakme Salons to bring easy financing options to fuel women entrepreneurship.
ii. This partnership would help encourage more women to become Lakme Salon’s business partners.
iii. Mahila Bank has opened the 40th branch and will close the fiscal with 40 more.
iv. The loan book of the bank currently stands at Rs 400 crore and has plans to close the fiscal with Rs 800 crore and deposit books to Rs 1,000 crore from the present Rs 600 crore.
6. Canara Bank bags 3 MSME awards
i. Canara Bank has bagged three awards at the annual flagship event “MSME Banking Excellence Awards-2014” organised by Chamber of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (CIMSME).
ii. Canara Bank has been adjudged as the “Best Bank Award-Winner” among other awards.
iii. The awards were presented by Union Minister for MSME Kalraj Mishra on the occasion.
7. Infosys CEO dedicates $250 million to innovate in India
i. Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and disclosed that his company will spend USD 250 million (over Rs 1,500 crore) to fund innovations in software and services in India.
ii. Infosys will develop software for managing the kumbh mela scheduled in Ujjain (Madhya Pradesh) in 2016.
iii. The chief of India’s second largest IT services firm also discussed with Modi ways in which the company can participate in the Prime Minister’s vision of smart and digitally empowered India.
iv. Infosys formed USD 500 million Innovation Fund. Of this, Rs. 1,500 crore, will be dedicated to just innovation in India.
8. India will catch up with China’s growth rate in 2016-17: World Bank
i. The World Bank has said that India would catch up with China’s growth in the year 2016-17.
ii. The World Bank in its report also forecast a growth rate of seven per cent each in the fiscal year 2016 and 2017 as against China’s 7 per cent and 6. 9 per cent respectively.
iii. Regional growth is projected to rise to 6.8 per cent by 2017, as reforms ease supply constraints in India, political tensions subside in Pakistan, remittances remain robust in Bangladesh and Nepal, and demand for the region’s exports firms.